Baseball great Elston Howard was born in St. Louis and after graduating from Vashon High School, he signed on with the Negro League’s Kansas City Monarchs in 1948. The New York Yankees recruited him and in 1955 he became the first African-American player on the famed team. As an elite catcher, he made the American League All-Star team 12 times and won two Gold Glove awards. In 1963 he made history as the first African-American to be named the American League’s Most Valuable Player. Elston Howard was a six-time World Series champion with the Yankees, four as a player and two as a coach, and the team later honored him by retiring his number.