Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson was the first African-American Major League Baseball player of the modern era. Although not the first African-American professional baseball player in United States history, Robinson's 1947 Major League debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers ended approximately 60 years of baseball segregation, breaking the baseball color line, or color barrier. At that time in the United States, many white people believed that blacks and whites should be kept apart in many aspects of life, including sports. Despite this obstacle, Robinson went on to have an exceptional baseball career. +more
Robinson played on six World Series teams and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. He earned six consecutive All-Star Game nominations and won several awards during his career. In 1947, Jackie won The Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award and the first MLB Rookie of the Year Award. Two years later, he won the National League MVP Award?the first black player to do so. On April 15, 1997, the 50-year anniversary of his debut, Major League Baseball retired Robinson's jersey number 42 across all MLB teams in recognition of his accomplishments in a ceremony at Shea Stadium.
He also had success away from the baseball field. Robinson was the first African-American Major League Baseball analyst and the first black vice president of a major American corporation. In the 1960s, he helped to establish the Freedom National Bank, an African-American owned and controlled entity based in Harlem, New York. Due to his achievements, Robinson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. In 1950, he played himself in the biographical film The Jackie Robinson Story. In 1946, Robinson married Rachel Annetta Isum, and after Robinson died of a heart attack in 1972, she founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation
Track & Field Career
Men's College Basketball Career
College Football Career
1939 - 1940
-Led the nation in punt return average in both 1939 (16.5 yards) and 1940 (21.0 yards). His career average of 18.8 yards ranks fourth in NCAA history.
-As a senior in 1940, he led UCLA in rushing (383 yards), passing (444 yards), total offense (827 yards), scoring (36 points) and punt returns (21.0 average). In his two-year career, he rushed for 954 yards (5.9 average) and passed for 449 yards.
Apr 15, 1947
MLB Debut -Breaks Color Barrier
Jackie Robinson played in his first major league game and succeeded in breaking the color barrier that divided baseball. While playing first base Jackie did not get a hit going 0 for 3, but still reached base on an error in the seventh inning and scored the game winning / go-ahead run.
The Brooklyn Dodgers defeated the Boston Braves 5 to 3.
Oct 23, 1945
Signs a minor league contract
Jackie signs a contract to play for the Montreal Royals, the top minor league team of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Branch Rickey, the Dodgers general manager, pays him a $3,500 bonus, plus $600 per month.
Aug 28, 1945
Meeting with Mr. Branch Rickey
When Robinson traveled to New York City for the meeting he was unaware that he was going to be asked to become the first Black player in major league baseball. The decision to open up "America's favorite pastime" to African-Americans was in no small part due to the contribution they had made to the country's war effort. Happy Chandler, the newly installed Baseball Commissioner, was quoted as saying that: "if they (African-Americans) can fight and die on Okinawa, Guadalcanal (and) in the South Pacific, they can play ball in America." Branch Rickey agreed, but everyone knew that the first Black to break through the color barrier would not only have to be talented enough to play in the majors but strong enough to withstand with dignity the inevitable racial taunts that would be hurled his way. Jackie Robinson was their man.
The meeting took place in Rickey's office and lasted about three hours. Rickey grilled the twenty-six year old Robinson on his resolve and challenged him with racist scenarios that he may have to confront on and off the field. Satisfied with his response, Rickey assigned Robinson to the Montreal Royals - a Dodger farm team - for the 1946 season. Robinson was moved up to the Dodgers at the beginning of the 1947 season.
Mar 10, 1940
UCLA Baseball Debut
Jackie had four hits and stole four bases, including home once.