On September 17, 1953, Ernie Banks made his Major League debut with the Cubs, making him the first African American ballplayer to appear in a Cubs uniform. The game was played at Wrigley Field against Philadelphia with Curt Simmons on the mound for the Phillies. Banks was positioned at short and batted seventh in the Cubs lineup. He came to the plate for the first time in the bottom of the second and flied out to center. At bat again in the fifth, Banks this time earned a walk and later scored on a HR by pinch hitter Tommy Brown. Banks finished the game 1 for 3 with one run scored and one error. The Phillies walloped the Cubs by a final score of 16 - 4, with Curt Simmons pitching a complete game. Banks would go on to play 2528 games for the Cubs.
One more Hall of Famer made his debut on this date, in 1955. Check back later to find out who.