Nathaniel Clifton

Nathaniel Clifton, born October 13th, 19221 in Arkansas, was a Negro League baseball player in 1949, professional baseball player from 1949-1950, as well as a professional basketball player from 1950-1958.


Clifton was born with the name Clifton Nathaniel and was the son of Clifton Nathaniel Sr. and Mattie (Green) Nathaniel.2 He grew up in England, AR, where he lived until at least 1930.3

Clifton played Negro League baseball with the Chicago American Giants and Detroit Stars before entering the minor leagues in 1949.

In 1950, Clifton became the first African-American to sign a contract with a NBA basketball team. This largely ended his baseball career.

In 1958, Clifton played with the Detroit Clowns of the Negro American League.45


Baseball Statistics at Baseball-Reference.com.

Basketball statistics at Basketball-Reference.com.

1958 Detroit Clowns Statistics:

1958Detroit Stars103541012200002158.286

1. Actual birth year is not confirmed.
2. Brazil Immigration Cards
3. "Cliff Nathaniel Jr.", England, AR, 1930 U.S. Census