A man of brotherly love
Born Charleston, South Carolina 1839 as a free man.
His father was a founding member of Philadelphia’s Banneker Institute, an African-American intellectual and literary society.
Founded the city’s second black baseball team, the Philadelphia Pythians in 1865 along with Jacob C. White. Played shortstop and was the team captain.
American colonists began playing baseball as early as the 1780s. After the Civil War, the sport grew in popularity, but black ballplayers had a hard time finding teams, fields and equipment.
In October 1867, the Pythians applied for admission to the Pennsylvania Association of Amateur Base Ball Players but were denied because they were black. This officially set the color barrier in baseball.
A martyr for democracy.
National Guard major who recruited soldiers for the Union Army and president of the Institute for Colored Youth (now Cheyney University)
Organized black society in Philadelphia and fought to desegregate the city’s trolley car system
Murdered at 8th & South Street on Election Day in 1871 while exercising his right to vote. He was 32 years old.
A statue of Catto sits on the south side of Philadelphia’s City Hall.