Or to be more precise about it, the first black member of the Baseball Writers Association of America, which he joined in 1947 or 1948, depending on who you read. Remember a few years ago when they retired Jackie Robinson's number and all the sportswriters made such a hoo-hah that the Era of Racial Segregation was such a shameful chapter in baseball history? Well, their pressbox was every bit as segregated, but you never heard even a mention of that, did you? More on Sam Lacy from Answers.com:
The sportswriter inherited his pioneering spirit from his grandfather, Henry Erskine Lacy, who was the first black detective on the Washington, D.C., police force. Perhaps the most amazing thing about Lacy's story is not that he covered all the giants of the twentieth-century sporting world - Joe Louis, Jesse Owens, Jackie Robinson, Sugar Ray Robinson, and Muhammed Ali, to name a few - but that he continued to cover sports well into his nineties. He left home for the office at the Afro-American at three o'clock in the morning. to do three weekly columns and supervise the layout of the paper. When he became too old to drive after suffering a stroke in 1999, his son brought him to work. When his fingers became too riddled with arthritis to type, he wrote out his column longhand, continuing until shortly before his death in May, 2003. Lacy's story began with his selling peanuts to the Jim Crow section of old Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., and it continued until he reached a place of honor in the writers' wing at baseball's ultimate shrine, the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
If you're a student and you have to write a paper for Black History Month, I think Sam Lacy would be a fascinating subject.