A blog about sports history with some game coverage mixed in from the former Martinez News-Gazette sports editor, and beat writer for Unviersity of California Berkeley athletics, Golden State Warriors, Oakland Athletics, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco Giants, San Francisco 49ers, San Jose Earthquakes and the San Jose Sharks.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Jackie Robinson Makes Debut
On April 11, 1947, Hall of Famer Jackie
Robinson becomes the first African-American to play in modern major-league
baseball when he debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
as the first black man to play in the major leagues since the 1880s, was
instrumental in bringing an end to racial segregation
in professional baseball, which had relegated black players to the Negro leagues for six
Jackie Robinson in 1950 as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
example of his character and unquestionable talent challenged the traditional
basis of segregation, which then marked many other aspects of American life,
and contributed, significantly to the Civil
career featured playing time in over ten seasons. He played in six World Series and
contributed to the Dodgers' 1955 World Championship.
was selected for six consecutive All-Star
Games from 1949 to 1954,was the recipient of the inaugural MLB
Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, and won the National League Most
Valuable Player Award in 1949—the first black player so honored.
career saw him put up great numbers hitting .311 batting average, 1,518 hits,
137 home runs, 734 RBIs and 197 stolen bases.
was one of only two players during the span of 1947–56 to accumulate at least
125 steals while registering a slugging percentage over .425 (Minnie Miñoso was
Robinson was an outstanding fielder throughout his ten years in the major
leagues and at virtually every position he played.
playing his rookie season at first base, Robinson spent most of his career as a
led the league in fielding among second basemen in 1950 and 1951.
the end of his career, he played about 2,000 innings at third base and about
1,175 innings in the outfield, excelling at both.
was inducted into the Baseball
Hall of Fame in 1962.
1997, Major League Baseball "universally" retired
his uniform number, 42,
across all major league teams; he was the first pro athlete in any sport to be
so honored. Since that time, Major League Baseball has adopted a new annual
tradition, "Jackie Robinson Day," in which all players on all teams
wear no. 42.
The movie poster for "42."
was also known for his pursuits outside the baseball diamond. He was the first
black television analyst in Major League Baseball, and the first black vice-president
of a major American corporation. In the 1960s, he helped establish the Freedom
National Bank, an African-American-owned financial institution based in Harlem, New York. In recognition
of his achievements on and off the field, Robinson was posthumously awarded the
Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold
Last year the movie “42” based on Robinson’s life
and baseball career debuted.