The game of baseball has had a rich and storied past. It is full of history-making moments and milestones. These milestones have served to push the game and many CasinoGap bookies forward. One of those history-making moments was the moment in which the color barrier in baseball was broken. The individual responsible for breaking the color barrier was Jackie Robinson.
Jackie Robinson was born in 1919 to a family of sharecroppers in the city of Cairo, Georgia. Robinson was a standout athlete at John Muir High School. He played basketball, football, track and field, and baseball. As a matter of fact, Jackie Robinson would win singles tournaments as a varsity tennis player. He won awards in track and field. He became so good in baseball that he was selected to be part of an all-star baseball team in Pomona. Ironically, one of his teammates on that team was MLB Hall of Famer Ted Williams.
Jackie Robinson would attend Pasadena Junior College. He would continue to play all four sports that he played in high school. He was selected as the most valuable player in the Southland region during that time. Later, he would transfer to UCLA and win varsity letters in all four of those sports.
Ironically, baseball would not be the sport he excelled at while attending UCLA. Jackie Robinson won the NCAA track and field championship in the long jump. He was one of four black players that played college football for UCLA.
Jackie Robinson was drafted into the U.S Army in 1942. He was honorably discharged in 1944. However, he would face significant obstacles during his military career as he dealt with Jim Crow laws that served to hurt his morale as well as the morale of black officers.
After his post-military career, Jackie had a brief stint as the athletic director and basketball coach for an HBCU known as Samuel Huston College.
During that time, he was offered a contract playing with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues. He would play 47 games for the club. Not soon after, Robinson was selected by the president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers to be assigned to their minor league team known as the Montreal Royals.
Richey was hopeful that Jackie Robinson would have the restraint not to react angrily with the oncoming racist abuse that he was likely to face at the time. Jackie Robinson would end up being the MVP of the International League that season due to the fact that he led the league in batting average.
In the next season, Jackie Robinson was called up to the majors by the Brooklyn Dodgers. He made his debut on April 11th, 1947. Robinson would draw a walk and score a run in his first game. During his first season, Robinson would bat .297 with 12 home runs and 48 runs batted in. He also led the league in sacrifice hits and stolen bases. Jackie would become the first Rookie of the Year award in baseball history.
Of course, Jackie Robinson was given a hard time by some members of his own team and by opposing teams. Members of his team threatened to sit out rather than play with Jackie Robinson. The St Louis Cardinals threatened to go on strike if Jackie Robinson played. Additionally, the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies called Jackie Robinson the N-word from their dugout.
However, Jackie Robinson had allies as well. One of his biggest allies was a teammate by the name of Pee Wee Reese. During a regular-season game on the road, Reese put his arm around Robinson publically in response to fans who were yelling racial slurs at Jackie Robinson.
Jackie Robinson would also have an ally in Larry Doby. Larry Doby was a black player that debuted shortly after Jackie Robinson did. The two would talk constantly on the telephone.
In 1949, Jackie Robinson would have the best season of his career. He would bat .342 with 16 home runs and 124 runs batted in. He also would have 37 stolen bases. He was selected to the All-Star Game in 1949. The 1949 All-Star game was the first game to feature African-American players. He would win MVP that season.
Overall, Jackie Robinson would be selected to the All-Star game six times for his career. He won one World Series ring with the Dodgers in 1955. Overall, Jackie Robinson would end his career with a batting average of .313.
Robinson would retire in January 1957. He would become the first baseball player selected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
Jackie Robinson was actively involved in politics. He would support candidates of both parties during different periods. He was portrayed several times in movies and productions by actors such as David Alan Grier and the late Chadwick Boseman. Jackie Robinson would even portray himself in a movie called “The Jackie Robinson Story” while he was still playing in the majors.
Robinson passed away in 1972.