Jackie Robinson made Major League Baseball history 75 years ago today (April 15) after he broke the color barrier in the infamously all-white league. On Twitter, many are saluting the legendary second baseman, and teams across the MLB are joining together to honor number 42.
A portion of Robinson’s biography from his official website can be viewed below:
Growing up in a large, single-parent family, Jackie excelled early at all sports and learned to make his own way in life. At UCLA, Jackie became the first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports: baseball, basketball, football and track. In 1941, he was named to the All-American football team. Due to financial difficulties, he was forced to leave college and eventually decided to enlist in the U.S. Army. After two years in the army, he had progressed to second lieutenant. Jackie’s army career was cut short when he was court-martialed in relation to his objections with incidents of racial discrimination. In the end, Jackie left the Army with an honorable discharge.
In 1945, Jackie played one season in the Negro Baseball League, traveling all over the Midwest with the Kansas City Monarchs. But greater challenges and achievements were in store for him. In 1947, Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey approached Jackie about joining the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Major Leagues had not had an African-American player since 1889, when baseball became segregated. When Jackie first donned a Brooklyn Dodger uniform, he pioneered the integration of professional athletics in America. By breaking the color barrier in baseball, the nation’s preeminent sport, he courageously challenged the deeply rooted custom of racial segregation in both the North and the South.
Robinson went on to be named the National League’s Rookie Of The Year in 1947 and the NL’s MVP two tears later. In 1955, just a season prior to his retirement, the Brooklyn Dodgers won the World Series.
On Twitter, baseball fans and historians alike are chiming in with their thoughts on the trailblazing Jackie Robinson. Those reactions can be viewed below.
Twitter Salutes Baseball Legend Jackie Robinson On 75th Anniversary Of MLB Debut #JackieRobinsonDay was originally published on hiphopwired.com