Pumpsie Green, who integrated Red Sox, opens up about trail-blazing career

This year’s World Series pits the first major-league baseball team to integrate against the last, and Pumpsie Green takes great pride in breaking the color barrier for the shamefully intolerant Boston Red Sox of 1959. Fifty-nine years later, however, Green makes one confession: He would rather have played for his hometown team, the Oakland Oaks of the old Pacific Coast League. It’s one of many stories that Green, who turns 85 Saturday, shared on a recent afternoon at his home in the El Cerrito hills. A pair of Chronicle sportswriters with an appreciation for Green’s place in history had gone in search of the former infielder but had heard his health wasn’t great and that he might be unable to do interviews.

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