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Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson

Overview
Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was the first black
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 (MLB) player of the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line
Baseball color line
The color line in American baseball excluded players of black African descent from Organized Baseball, or the major leagues and affiliated minor leagues, until Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization for the 1946 season...

 when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first black man to play in the major leagues since the 1880s, he was instrumental in bringing an end to racial segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 in professional baseball, which had relegated black players to the Negro leagues for six decades.
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Quotations

I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me. All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.

Statement to teammates on the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, as quoted in The Impact and Legacy Years, 1941, 1947, 1968 (2000) by Fred Pulis, p. 100
Encyclopedia
Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was the first black
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

 (MLB) player of the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line
Baseball color line
The color line in American baseball excluded players of black African descent from Organized Baseball, or the major leagues and affiliated minor leagues, until Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization for the 1946 season...

 when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first black man to play in the major leagues since the 1880s, he was instrumental in bringing an end to racial segregation
Racial segregation
Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups in daily life. It may apply to activities such as eating in a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain, using a public toilet, attending school, going to the movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home...

 in professional baseball, which had relegated black players to the Negro leagues for six decades. The 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 Rights Movement.

In addition to his cultural impact, Robinson had an exceptional baseball career. Over ten seasons, he played in six World Series
World Series
The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball, played between the American League and National League champions since 1903. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff and awarded the Commissioner's Trophy...

 and contributed to the Dodgers' 1955 World Championship
1955 World Series
The 1955 World Series matched the Brooklyn Dodgers against the New York Yankees, with the Dodgers winning the Series in seven games to capture their first championship in franchise history. It would be the only Series the Dodgers won in Brooklyn . The last time the Brooklyn franchise won a World...

. He was selected for six consecutive All-Star Games
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

 from 1949 to 1954, was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, and won the National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 Most Valuable Player Award in 1949—the first black player so honored. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is an American history museum and hall of fame, located at 25 Main Street in Cooperstown, New York, operated by private interests serving as the central point for the study of the history of baseball in the United States and beyond, the display of...

 in 1962
Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 1962
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1962 followed a new system for even-number years. Since 1956 the Baseball Writers Association of America and Veterans Committee had alternated in their duties but the BBWAA, voting by mail to select from recent major league players, had elected no one for...

. In 1997, Major League Baseball retired his uniform number, 42, across all major league teams.

Robinson 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
Harlem
Harlem is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan, which since the 1920s has been a major African-American residential, cultural and business center. Originally a Dutch village, formally organized in 1658, it is named after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands...

, New York. In recognition of his achievements on and off the field, Robinson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

 and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Early life


Robinson was born on January 31, 1919, into a family of sharecroppers
Sharecropping
Sharecropping is a system of agriculture in which a landowner allows a tenant to use the land in return for a share of the crop produced on the land . This should not be confused with a crop fixed rent contract, in which a landowner allows a tenant to use the land in return for a fixed amount of...

 in Cairo, Georgia
Cairo, Georgia
Cairo is a city in Grady County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 9,607. The city is the county seat of Grady County.-Syrup City:...

, during a Spanish flu
Spanish flu
The 1918 flu pandemic was an influenza pandemic, and the first of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus . It was an unusually severe and deadly pandemic that spread across the world. Historical and epidemiological data are inadequate to identify the geographic origin...

 and smallpox
Smallpox
Smallpox was an infectious disease unique to humans, caused by either of two virus variants, Variola major and Variola minor. The disease is also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera, which is a derivative of the Latin varius, meaning "spotted", or varus, meaning "pimple"...

 epidemic
Epidemic
In epidemiology, an epidemic , occurs when new cases of a certain disease, in a given human population, and during a given period, substantially exceed what is expected based on recent experience...

. He was the youngest of five children, after siblings Edgar, Frank, Matthew (nicknamed "Mack"), and Willa Mae. His middle name was in honor of former President Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

, who died twenty-five days before Robinson was born. After Robinson's father left the family in 1920, they moved to Pasadena, California
Pasadena, California
Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. Although famous for hosting the annual Rose Bowl football game and Tournament of Roses Parade, Pasadena is the home to many scientific and cultural institutions, including the California Institute of Technology , the Jet...

. The extended Robinson family established itself on a residential plot containing two small houses at 121 Pepper Street in Pasadena. Robinson's mother worked various odd jobs to support the family. Growing up in relative poverty in an otherwise affluent community, Robinson and his minority friends were excluded from many recreational opportunities. As a result, Robinson joined a neighborhood gang, but his friend Carl Anderson persuaded him to abandon it.

John Muir High School


In 1935, Robinson graduated from Washington Junior High School and enrolled at John Muir High School
John Muir High School (Pasadena, California)
John Muir High School is a four-year comprehensive secondary school in Pasadena, California, United States and is a part of the Pasadena Unified School District. The school is named after preservationist John Muir.-History:...

 (Muir Tech). Recognizing his athletic talents, Robinson's older brothers Mack (himself an accomplished athlete and silver medalist
Athletics at the 1936 Summer Olympics
At the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, 29 athletics events were contested, 23 for men and 6 for women. The program of events was unchanged from the previous Games. There was a total of 776 participants from 43 countries competing.-Medal table:...

 at the 1936 Summer Olympics
1936 Summer Olympics
The 1936 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XI Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event which was held in 1936 in Berlin, Germany. Berlin won the bid to host the Games over Barcelona, Spain on April 26, 1931, at the 29th IOC Session in Barcelona...

) and Frank inspired Jackie to pursue his interest in sports. At Muir Tech, Robinson played several sports at the varsity level
Varsity team
In the United States and Canada, varsity sports teams are the principal athletic teams representing a college, university, high school or other secondary school. Such teams compete against the principal athletic teams at other colleges/universities, or in the case of secondary schools, against...

 and lettered in four of them: football
American football
American football is a sport played between two teams of eleven with the objective of scoring points by advancing the ball into the opposing team's end zone. Known in the United States simply as football, it may also be referred to informally as gridiron football. The ball can be advanced by...

, basketball
Basketball
Basketball is a team sport in which two teams of five players try to score points by throwing or "shooting" a ball through the top of a basketball hoop while following a set of rules...

, track
Track and field
Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

, and baseball
Baseball
Baseball is a bat-and-ball sport played between two teams of nine players each. The aim is to score runs by hitting a thrown ball with a bat and touching a series of four bases arranged at the corners of a ninety-foot diamond...

. He played shortstop
Shortstop
Shortstop, abbreviated SS, is the baseball fielding position between second and third base. Shortstop is often regarded as the most dynamic defensive position in baseball, because there are more right-handed hitters in baseball than left-handed hitters, and most hitters have a tendency to pull the...

 and catcher
Catcher
Catcher is a position for a baseball or softball player. When a batter takes his turn to hit, the catcher crouches behind home plate, in front of the umpire, and receives the ball from the pitcher. This is a catcher's primary duty, but he is also called upon to master many other skills in order to...

 on the baseball team, quarterback
Quarterback
Quarterback is a position in American and Canadian football. Quarterbacks are members of the offensive team and line up directly behind the offensive line...

 on the football team, and guard
Shooting guard
The shooting guard , also known as the two or off guard, is one of five traditional positions on a basketball team. Players of the position are often shorter, leaner, and quicker than forwards. A shooting guard's main objective is to score points for his team...

 on the basketball team. With the track and field squad, he won awards in the broad jump
Long jump
The long jump is a track and field event in which athletes combine speed, strength, and agility in an attempt to leap as far as possible from a take off point...

. He was also a member of the tennis
Tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

 team.

In 1936, Robinson won the junior boys singles championship in the annual Pacific Coast Negro Tennis Tournament and earned a place on the Pomona
Pomona, California
-2010:The 2010 United States Census reported that Pomona had a population of 149,058, a slight decline from the 2000 census population. The population density was 6,491.2 people per square mile...

 annual baseball tournament all-star team, which included future Hall of Famers
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is an American history museum and hall of fame, located at 25 Main Street in Cooperstown, New York, operated by private interests serving as the central point for the study of the history of baseball in the United States and beyond, the display of...

 Ted Williams
Ted Williams
Theodore Samuel "Ted" Williams was an American professional baseball player and manager. He played his entire 21-year Major League Baseball career as the left fielder for the Boston Red Sox...

 and Bob Lemon
Bob Lemon
Robert Granville Lemon was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976....

. In late January 1937, the Pasadena Star-News
Pasadena Star-News
The Pasadena Star-News is the local daily newspaper for Pasadena, California. The Star-News is a member of the Los Angeles Newspaper Group, since 1996. It is also part of the San Gabriel Valley Newspaper Group, along with the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and the Whittier Daily News.Ridder Newspapers...

newspaper reported that Robinson "for two years has been the outstanding athlete at Muir, starring in football, basketball, track, baseball and tennis."

Pasadena Junior College


After Muir, Robinson attended Pasadena Junior College
Pasadena City College
Pasadena City College is a community college in Pasadena, California, USA, located on Colorado Boulevard. PCC is the third largest community college campus in the United States. PCC was founded in 1924 as Pasadena Junior College. In 1954, Pasadena Junior College merged with another junior...

 (PJC), where he continued his athletic career by participating in basketball, football, baseball, and track. On the football team, he played quarterback and safety. He was a shortstop and leadoff hitter for the baseball team, and he broke school broad jump records held by his brother Mack. As at Muir High School, most of Jackie's teammates were white. While playing football at PJC, Robinson suffered a fractured ankle, complications from which would eventually delay his deployment status while in the military. Also while at PJC, he was elected to the Lancers, a student-run police organization responsible for patrolling various school activities. In 1938, he was elected to the All-Southland Junior College Team for baseball and selected as the region's Most Valuable Player. That year, Robinson was one of ten students named to the school's Order of the Mast and Dagger (Omicron Mu Delta), awarded to students performing "outstanding service to the school and whose scholastic and citizenship record is worthy of recognition."

An incident at PJC illustrated Robinson's impatience with authority figures he perceived as racist—a character trait that would resurface repeatedly in his life. On January 25, 1938, he was arrested after vocally disputing the detention of a black friend by police. Robinson received a two-year suspended sentence, but the incident—along with other rumored run-ins between Robinson and police—gave Robinson a reputation for combativeness in the face of racial antagonism. Toward the end of his PJC tenure, Frank Robinson (to whom Robinson felt closest among his three brothers) was killed in a motorcycle accident. The event motivated Jackie to pursue his athletic career at the nearby University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Los Angeles
The University of California, Los Angeles is a public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, USA. It was founded in 1919 as the "Southern Branch" of the University of California and is the second oldest of the ten campuses...

 (UCLA), where he could remain closer to Frank's family.

UCLA and afterward


After graduating from PJC in spring 1939, Robinson transferred to UCLA, where he became the school's first athlete to win varsity letter
Varsity letter
A varsity letter is an award earned in the United States for excellence in school activities. A varsity letter signifies that its winner was a qualified varsity team member, awarded after a certain standard was met.- Description :...

s in four sports: baseball, basketball, football, and track. He was one of four black players on the 1939 UCLA Bruins football
UCLA Bruins Football
The UCLA Bruins football program represents the University of California, Los Angeles in college football as members of the Pacific-12 Conference at the NCAA Division I FBS level. The Bruins have enjoyed several periods of success in their history, having been ranked in the top ten of the AP Poll...

 team; the others were Woody Strode
Woody Strode
Woodrow Wilson Woolwine "Woody" Strode was a decathlete and football star who went on to become a pioneering black American film actor. He was nominated for a Golden Globe award for best supporting actor for his role in Spartacus in 1960...

, Kenny Washington
Kenny Washington (American football)
Kenneth S. "Kingfish" Washington was a professional football player who was the first African-American to sign a contract with a National Football League team in the modern era.-UCLA Bruins:...

, and Ray Bartlett. Washington, Strode, and Robinson made up three of the team's four backfield players. At a time when only a handful of black players existed in mainstream college football, this made UCLA college football's most integrated team. In track and field
Track and field
Track and field is a sport comprising various competitive athletic contests based around the activities of running, jumping and throwing. The name of the sport derives from the venue for the competitions: a stadium which features an oval running track surrounding a grassy area...

, Robinson won the 1940 NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship
NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship
The NCAA Men's Outdoor Track and Field Championship is an annual collegiate outdoor track and field competition for men organised by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. It has three divisions: Division I, II, and III. Athlete's individual performances earn points for their institution and...

 in the Long Jump
Long jump
The long jump is a track and field event in which athletes combine speed, strength, and agility in an attempt to leap as far as possible from a take off point...

, jumping 24'10.5". Belying his future career, baseball was Robinson's "worst sport" at UCLA; he hit .097 in his only season, although in his first game he went 4-for-4 and twice stole home.

While a senior at UCLA, Robinson met his future wife, Rachel Isum
Rachel Robinson
Rachel Robinson is a former nurse and the widow of baseball player Jackie Robinson. She was born in Los Angeles, and attended the University of California, Los Angeles. There, she met Jackie in 1941, and they married in 1946. A baby, Jackie Robinson, Jr., was born to her in November 1946...

, a UCLA freshman who was familiar with Robinson's athletic career at PJC. In the spring semester of 1941, despite his mother's and Isum's reservations, Robinson left college just shy of graduation. He took a job as an assistant athletic director with the government's National Youth Administration
National Youth Administration
The National Youth Administration was a New Deal agency in the United States that focused on providing work and education for Americans between the ages of 16 and 24. It operated from 1935 to 1939 as part of the Works Progress Administration . Following the passage of the Reorganization Act of...

 (NYA) in Atascadero, California
Atascadero, California
Atascadero is a city in San Luis Obispo County, California, about equidistant from San Francisco and Los Angeles on U-S Highway 101. Atascadero is farther inland than most other San Luis Obispo County cities, and as a result, usually experiences warmer, drier summers and cooler winters than...

.

After the government ceased NYA operations, Robinson traveled to Honolulu in fall 1941 to play football for the semi-professional, racially integrated Honolulu Bears. After a short season, Robinson returned to California in December 1941 to pursue a career as running back for the Los Angeles Bulldogs
Los Angeles Bulldogs
The Los Angeles Bulldogs were a professional American football team that competed from 1936 to 1948...

 of the Pacific Coast Football League. By that time, however, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor
Attack on Pearl Harbor
The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike conducted by the Imperial Japanese Navy against the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on the morning of December 7, 1941...

 had taken place, drawing the United States into World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and ending Robinson's nascent football career.

Military career


In 1942, Robinson was drafted and assigned to a segregated Army cavalry unit in Fort Riley
Fort Riley
Fort Riley is a United States Army installation located in Northeast Kansas, on the Kansas River, between Junction City and Manhattan. The Fort Riley Military Reservation covers 100,656 acres in Geary and Riley counties and includes two census-designated places: Fort Riley North and Fort...

, Kansas
Kansas
Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

. Having the requisite qualifications, Robinson and several other black soldiers applied for admission to an Officer Candidate School
Officer Candidate School
Officer Candidate School or Officer Cadet School are institutions which train civilians and enlisted personnel in order for them to gain a commission as officers in the armed forces of a country....

 (OCS) then located at Fort Riley. Although the Army's initial July 1941 guidelines for OCS had been drafted as race-neutral, practically speaking few black applicants were admitted into OCS until after subsequent directives by Army leadership. As a result, the applications of Robinson and his colleagues were delayed for several months. After protests by heavyweight boxing champion Joe Louis
Joe Louis
Joseph Louis Barrow , better known as Joe Louis, was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949. He is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time...

 (then stationed at Fort Riley) and the help of Truman Gibson
Truman Gibson
Truman Kella Gibson, Jr. was an American lawyer, government advisor, and later influential boxing promoter who played a unique and unheralded role in the Civil Rights Movement, primarily as a member of the "Black Cabinet" of Presidents Franklin D...

 (then an assistant civilian aide to the Secretary of War), the men were accepted into OCS. This common military experience spawned a personal friendship between Robinson and Louis. Upon finishing OCS, Robinson was commissioned as a second lieutenant in January 1943. Shortly afterward, Robinson and Isum were formally engaged.

After receiving his commission, Robinson was reassigned to Fort Hood, Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, where he joined the 761st "Black Panthers" Tank Battalion. While at Fort Hood, 2LT Robinson often used his weekend leave to visit the Rev. Karl Downs, President of Sam Huston College (now Huston-Tillotson University
Huston-Tillotson University
Huston–Tillotson University is a historically black university in Austin, Texas, United States. The school is affiliated with the United Methodist Church, the United Church of Christ, and the United Negro College Fund....

) in nearby Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas
Austin is the capital city of the U.S. state of :Texas and the seat of Travis County. Located in Central Texas on the eastern edge of the American Southwest, it is the fourth-largest city in Texas and the 14th most populous city in the United States. It was the third-fastest-growing large city in...

; Downs had been Robinson's pastor at Scott United Methodist Church while Robinson attended PJC.

An event on July 6, 1944 derailed Robinson's military career. While awaiting results of hospital tests on the ankle he had injured in junior college, Robinson boarded an Army bus with a fellow officer's wife; although the Army had commissioned its own unsegregated bus line, the bus driver ordered Robinson to move to the back of the bus. Robinson refused. The driver backed down, but after reaching the end of the line, summoned the military police, who took Robinson into custody. When Robinson later confronted the investigating duty officer about racist questioning by the officer and his assistant, the officer recommended Robinson be court-martialed
Courts-martial in the United States
Courts-martial in the United States are criminal trials conducted by the U.S. military. Most commonly, courts-martial are convened to try members of the U.S. military for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice , which is the U.S. military's criminal code...

. After Robinson's commander
Commander (United States)
In the United States, commander is a military rank that is also sometimes used as a military title, depending on the branch of service. It is also used as a rank or title in some organizations outside of the military, particularly in police and law enforcement.-Naval rank:In the United States...

 in the 761st, Paul L. Bates
Paul L. Bates
Paul Levern Bates served a distinguished and decorated career in the United States Army, which most notably included commanding the first black tank battalion to enter combat in World War II, however he also gained notoriety as the white colonel who refused to court-martial future Baseball Hall of...

, refused to authorize the legal action, Robinson was summarily transferred to the 758th Battalion
758th Tank Battalion (United States)
The 758th Tank Battalion was a tank battalion of the United States Army that served during World War II. The first armored unit to consist of African-American soldiers, the 758th was formed in 1941 and served in Italy.-History:...

—where the commander quickly consented to charge Robinson with multiple offenses, including, among other charges, public drunkenness—even though Robinson did not drink.

By the time of the court-martial in August 1944, the charges against Robinson had been reduced to two counts of insubordination during questioning. Robinson was acquitted by an all-white panel of nine officers. Although his former unit, the 761st Tank Battalion, became the first black tank unit to see combat in World War II, Robinson's court-martial proceedings prohibited him from being deployed overseas, thus he never saw combat action. After his acquittal, he was transferred to Camp Breckinridge, Kentucky
Kentucky
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

, where he served as a coach for army athletics until receiving an honorable discharge in November 1944. While there, Robinson met an ex-player for the Kansas City Monarchs
Kansas City Monarchs
The Kansas City Monarchs were the longest-running franchise in the history of baseball's Negro Leagues. Operating in Kansas City, Missouri and owned by J.L. Wilkinson, they were charter members of the Negro National League from 1920 to 1930. J.L. Wilkinson was the first Caucasian owner at the time...

 of the Negro American League
Negro American League
The Negro American League was one of the several Negro leagues which were created during the time organized baseball was segregated. The league was established in 1937, and continued to exist until 1960...

, who encouraged Robinson to write the Monarchs and ask for a tryout. Robinson took the ex-player's advice and wrote Monarchs' co-owner Thomas Baird.

Post-military


After his discharge, Robinson briefly returned to his old football club, the Los Angeles Bulldogs. Robinson then accepted an offer from his old friend and pastor Rev. Karl Downs to be the athletic director at Sam Huston College in Austin, then of the Southwestern Athletic Conference
Southwestern Athletic Conference
The Southwestern Athletic Conference is a college athletic conference headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, which is made up of historically black universities in the Southern United States...

. The job included coaching the school's basketball team for the 1944–45 season. As a fledgling program, few students tried out for the basketball team, and Robinson even resorted to inserting himself into the lineup for exhibition games. Although his teams were outmatched by opponents, Robinson was respected as a disciplinarian coach, and drew the admiration of, among others, Langston University
Langston University
Langston University is an institution of higher learning located in Langston, Oklahoma, USA. It is the only historically black college in the state, and the westernmost historically black college in the United States...

 basketball player Marques Haynes
Marques Haynes
Marques Haynes is an American former professional basketball player and member of the Harlem Globetrotters, notable for his remarkable ability to dribble the ball and keep it away from defenders...

, a future member of the Harlem Globetrotters
Harlem Globetrotters
The Harlem Globetrotters are an exhibition basketball team that combines athleticism, theater and comedy. The executive offices for the team are currently in downtown Phoenix, Arizona; the team is owned by Shamrock Holdings, which oversees the various investments of the Roy E. Disney family.Over...

.

Negro leagues



In early 1945, while Robinson was at Sam Huston College, the Kansas City Monarchs
Kansas City Monarchs
The Kansas City Monarchs were the longest-running franchise in the history of baseball's Negro Leagues. Operating in Kansas City, Missouri and owned by J.L. Wilkinson, they were charter members of the Negro National League from 1920 to 1930. J.L. Wilkinson was the first Caucasian owner at the time...

 sent him a written offer to play professional baseball in the Negro leagues. Robinson accepted a contract for $400 ($ in dollars) per month, a boon for him at the time. Although he played well for the Monarchs, Robinson was frustrated with the experience. He had grown used to a structured playing environment in college, and the Negro leagues' disorganization and embrace of gambling interests appalled him. The hectic travel schedule also placed a burden on his relationship with Isum, with whom he could now only communicate by letter. In all, Robinson played 47 games at shortstop
Shortstop
Shortstop, abbreviated SS, is the baseball fielding position between second and third base. Shortstop is often regarded as the most dynamic defensive position in baseball, because there are more right-handed hitters in baseball than left-handed hitters, and most hitters have a tendency to pull the...

 for the Monarchs, hitting .387 with five home runs, and registering 13 stolen bases. He also appeared in the 1945 Negro League All-Star Game, going hitless in five at-bats.

During the season, Robinson pursued potential major league interest. The Boston Red Sox
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are a professional baseball team based in Boston, Massachusetts, and a member of Major League Baseball’s American League Eastern Division. Founded in as one of the American League's eight charter franchises, the Red Sox's home ballpark has been Fenway Park since . The "Red Sox"...

 held a tryout at Fenway Park
Fenway Park
Fenway Park is a baseball park near Kenmore Square in Boston, Massachusetts. Located at 4 Yawkey Way, it has served as the home ballpark of the Boston Red Sox baseball club since it opened in 1912, and is the oldest Major League Baseball stadium currently in use. It is one of two "classic"...

 for Robinson and other black players on April 16. The tryout, however, was a farce chiefly designed to assuage the desegregationist sensibilities of powerful Boston City Councilman Isadore Muchnick. Even with the stands limited to management, Robinson was subjected to racial epithets. Robinson left the tryout humiliated, and more than fourteen years later, in July 1959, the Red Sox became the last major league team to integrate its roster.

Other teams, however, had more serious interest in signing a black ballplayer. In the mid-1940s, Branch Rickey
Branch Rickey
Wesley Branch Rickey was an innovative Major League Baseball executive elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967...

, club president and general manager
General manager (baseball)
In Major League Baseball, the general manager of a team typically controls player transactions and bears the primary responsibility on behalf of the ballclub during contract discussions with players....

 of the Brooklyn Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are a professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers are members of Major League Baseball's National League West Division. Established in 1883, the team originated in Brooklyn, New York, where it was known by a number of nicknames before becoming...

, began to scout the Negro leagues for a possible addition to the Dodgers' roster. Rickey selected Robinson from a list of promising black players, and interviewed Robinson for possible assignment to Brooklyn's International League
International League
The International League is a minor league baseball league that operates in the eastern United States. Like the Pacific Coast League and the Mexican League, it plays at the Triple-A level, which is one step below Major League Baseball. It was so named because it had teams in both the United States...

 farm club, the Montreal Royals
Montreal Royals
The Montreal Royals were a minor league professional baseball team located in Montreal, Quebec, that existed from 1897–1917 and from 1928–60 as a member of the International League and its progenitor, the original Eastern League...

. Rickey was especially interested in making sure his eventual signee could withstand the inevitable racial abuse that would be directed at him. In a famous three-hour exchange on August 28, 1945, Rickey asked Robinson if he could face the racial animus without taking the bait and reacting angrily—a concern given Robinson's prior arguments with law enforcement officials at PJC and in the military. Robinson was aghast: "Are you looking for a Negro who is afraid to fight back?" Rickey replied that he needed a Negro player "with guts enough not to fight back." After obtaining a commitment from Robinson to "turn the other cheek" to racial antagonism, Rickey agreed to sign him to a contract for $600 a month, equal to $ today.

Although he required Robinson to keep the arrangement a secret for the time being, Rickey committed to formally signing Robinson before November 1, 1945. On October 23, it was publicly announced that Robinson would be assigned to the Royals for the 1946 season. On the same day, with representatives of the Royals and Dodgers present, Robinson formally signed his contract with the Royals. In what was later referred to as "The Noble Experiment", Robinson was the first black baseball player in the International League since the 1880s. Robinson was not necessarily the best player in the Negro leagues, and black talents Satchel Paige
Satchel Paige
Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige was an American baseball player whose pitching in the Negro leagues and in Major League Baseball made him a legend in his own lifetime...

 and Josh Gibson
Josh Gibson
Joshua Gibson was an American catcher in baseball's Negro leagues. He played for the Homestead Grays from 1930 to 1931, moved to the Pittsburgh Crawfords from 1932 to 1936, and returned to the Grays from 1937 to 1939 and 1942 to 1946...

 were upset when Robinson was selected first.

Rickey's offer allowed Robinson to leave the Monarchs and their grueling bus rides behind, and he went home to Pasadena.
That September, he signed with Chet Brewer
Chet Brewer
Chester Arthur "Chet" Brewer was an American right-handed pitcher in baseball's Negro Leagues. Born in Leavenworth, Kansas, he played for the Kansas City Monarchs, and from 1957 to 1974 he scouted for the Pittsburgh Pirates....

's Kansas City Royals, a post-season barnstorming
Barnstorm (sports)
Barnstorming in athletics refers to sports teams or individuals that travel to various locations, usually small towns, to stage exhibition matches....

 team in the California Winter League
California Winter League
California Winter League is a former baseball Winter League. It is the first integrated league in the 20th century as players from Major League Baseball and Negro League Baseball played each other in training games. The league existed for almost 50 years during the first half of the 20th century...

. Later that off-season, he briefly toured South America with another barnstorming team, while his fiancée Isum pursued nursing opportunities in New York City. On February 10, 1946, Robinson and Isum were married by their old friend, Rev. Karl Downs.

Minor leagues


In 1946, Robinson arrived at Daytona Beach, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Daytona Beach is a city in Volusia County, Florida, USA. According to 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the city has a population of 64,211. Daytona Beach is a principal city of the Deltona – Daytona Beach – Ormond Beach, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which the census bureau estimated had...

, for spring training
Spring training
In Major League Baseball, spring training is a series of practices and exhibition games preceding the start of the regular season. Spring training allows new players to try out for roster and position spots, and gives existing team players practice time prior to competitive play...

 with the Montreal Royals
Montreal Royals
The Montreal Royals were a minor league professional baseball team located in Montreal, Quebec, that existed from 1897–1917 and from 1928–60 as a member of the International League and its progenitor, the original Eastern League...

 of the Class AAA International League
International League
The International League is a minor league baseball league that operates in the eastern United States. Like the Pacific Coast League and the Mexican League, it plays at the Triple-A level, which is one step below Major League Baseball. It was so named because it had teams in both the United States...

 (the designation of "AAA" for the highest level of minor league baseball
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

 was first used in the season). Robinson's presence was controversial in racially charged Florida. As he was not allowed to stay with his teammates at the team hotel, he lodged instead at the home of a local black politician. Since the Dodgers organization did not own a spring training facility (the Dodger-controlled spring training compound in Vero Beach known as "Dodgertown" did not open until spring 1948), scheduling was subject to the whim of area localities, several of which turned down any event involving Robinson or Johnny Wright
Johnny Wright (baseball player)
John Richard "Johnny" Wright was a Negro League pitcher who played briefly in the International League of baseball's minor leagues in 1946, and was on the roster of the Montreal Royals at the same time as Jackie Robinson, making him a plausible candidate to have broken the baseball color barrier...

, another black player whom Rickey had signed to the Dodgers' organization in January. In Sanford, Florida
Sanford, Florida
Sanford is a city in, and the county seat of, Seminole County, Florida, United States. The population was 38,291 at the 2000 census. As of 2009, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau was 50,998...

, the police chief threatened to cancel games if Robinson and Wright did not cease training activities there; as a result, Robinson was sent back to Daytona Beach. In Jacksonville
Jacksonville, Florida
Jacksonville is the largest city in the U.S. state of Florida in terms of both population and land area, and the largest city by area in the contiguous United States. It is the county seat of Duval County, with which the city government consolidated in 1968...

, the stadium was padlocked shut without warning on game day, by order of the city's Parks and Public Property director. In DeLand
DeLand, Florida
DeLand is the county seat of Volusia County, Florida. In 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population to be 24,375. It is part of the Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated population of 436,575 in 2006...

, a scheduled day game was called off, ostensibly because of faulty electrical lighting.

After much lobbying of local officials by Rickey himself, the Royals were allowed to host a game involving Robinson in Daytona Beach. Robinson made his Royals debut at Daytona Beach's City Island Ballpark on March 17, 1946, in an exhibition game against the team's parent club, the Dodgers. Robinson thus simultaneously became the first black player to openly play for a minor league team and against a major league team since the de facto baseball color line had been implemented in the 1880s. Later in spring training, after some less-than-stellar performances, Robinson was shifted from shortstop to second base
Second baseman
Second base, or 2B, is the second of four stations on a baseball diamond which must be touched in succession by a base runner in order to score a run for that player's team. A second baseman is the baseball player guarding second base...

, allowing him to make shorter throws to first base. Robinson's performance soon rebounded. On April 18, 1946, Roosevelt Stadium
Roosevelt Stadium
Roosevelt Stadium was a baseball park at Droyer's Point in Jersey City, New Jersey. It opened in April 1937 and hosted high-minor league baseball, seven major league baseball games, plus championship boxing matches, top-name musical acts, important regional high school football and even soccer...

 hosted the Jersey City Giants
Jersey City Giants
The Jersey City Giants was the name of a high-level American minor league baseball franchise that played in Jersey City, New Jersey, as the top farm system affiliate of the New York Giants from 1937 through 1950. The Jersey City club played in the International League...

' season opener against the Montreal Royals
Montreal Royals
The Montreal Royals were a minor league professional baseball team located in Montreal, Quebec, that existed from 1897–1917 and from 1928–60 as a member of the International League and its progenitor, the original Eastern League...

, marking the professional debut of the Royals' Jackie Robinson. In his five trips to the plate, Robinson had four hits, including a three-run home run. He also scored four runs, drove in three, and stole two bases in the Royals' 14–1 victory. Robinson proceeded to lead the International League that season with a .349 batting average and .985 fielding percentage
Fielding percentage
In baseball statistics, fielding percentage, also known as fielding average, is a measure that reflects the percentage of times a defensive player properly handles a batted or thrown ball...

, and he was named the league's Most Valuable Player. Although he often faced hostility while on road trips (the Royals were forced to cancel a Southern
Southern United States
The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

 exhibition tour, for example), the Montreal fan base enthusiastically supported Robinson. Whether fans supported or opposed it, Robinson's presence on the field was a boon to attendance; more than one million people went to games involving Robinson in 1946, an amazing figure by International League standards. In the fall of 1946, following the baseball season, Robinson returned home to California and briefly played professional basketball for the short-lived Los Angeles Red Devils.

Breaking the color barrier (1947)


The following year, six days before the start of the 1947 season, the Dodgers called Robinson up to the major leagues. With Eddie Stanky
Eddie Stanky
Edward Raymond Stanky , nicknamed "The Brat", was an American second baseman and manager in Major League Baseball. He played for the Chicago Cubs , Brooklyn Dodgers , Boston Braves , New York Giants , and St. Louis Cardinals...

 entrenched at second base for the Dodgers, Robinson played his initial major league season as a first baseman
First baseman
First base, or 1B, is the first of four stations on a baseball diamond which must be touched in succession by a baserunner in order to score a run for that player's team...

. On April 15, 1947, Robinson made his major league debut at Ebbets Field
Ebbets Field
Ebbets Field was a Major League Baseball park located in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York, USA, on a city block which is now considered to be part of the Crown Heights neighborhood. It was the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League. It was also a venue for professional football...

 before a crowd of 26,623 spectators, including more than 14,000 black patrons. Although he failed to get a base hit, the Dodgers won 5–3. Robinson became the first player since 1880 to openly break the major league baseball color line. Black fans began flocking to see the Dodgers when they came to town, abandoning their Negro league teams.

Robinson's promotion met a generally positive, although mixed, reception among newspapers and white major league players. However, racial tension existed in the Dodger clubhouse. Some Dodger players insinuated they would sit out rather than play alongside Robinson. The brewing mutiny ended when Dodgers management took a stand for Robinson. Manager Leo Durocher
Leo Durocher
Leo Ernest Durocher , nicknamed Leo the Lip, was an American infielder and manager in Major League Baseball. Upon his retirement, he ranked fifth all-time among managers with 2,009 career victories, second only to John McGraw in National League history. Durocher still ranks tenth in career wins by...

 informed the team, "I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a fuckin' zebra. I'm the manager of this team, and I say he plays. What's more, I say he can make us all rich. And if any of you cannot use the money, I will see that you are all traded."

Robinson was also derided by opposing teams. Some, notably the St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to...

, threatened to strike
Strike action
Strike action, also called labour strike, on strike, greve , or simply strike, is a work stoppage caused by the mass refusal of employees to work. A strike usually takes place in response to employee grievances. Strikes became important during the industrial revolution, when mass labour became...

 if Robinson played. After the threat, National League President Ford Frick
Ford Frick
Ford Christopher Frick was an American sportswriter and executive who served as president of the National League from to and as the third Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1951 to . He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1970...

 and Baseball Commissioner
Baseball Commissioner
The Commissioner of Baseball is the chief executive of Major League Baseball and its associated minor leagues. Under the direction of the Commissioner, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball hires and maintains the sport's umpiring crews, and negotiates marketing, labor, and television contracts...

 Happy Chandler
Happy Chandler
Albert Benjamin "Happy" Chandler, Sr. was a politician from the US state of Kentucky. He represented the state in the U.S. Senate and served as its 44th and 49th governor. Aside from his political positions, he also served as the second Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1945 to 1951 and...

 let it be known that any striking players would be suspended. Robinson nonetheless became the target of rough physical play by opponents (particularly the Cardinals). At one time, he received a seven-inch gash in his leg. On April 22, 1947, during a game between the Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team. They are the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional American sports, dating to 1883. The Phillies are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League...

, Phillies players called Robinson a "nigger
Nigger
Nigger is a noun in the English language, most notable for its usage in a pejorative context to refer to black people , and also as an informal slang term, among other contexts. It is a common ethnic slur...

" from their dugout
Dugout (baseball)
In baseball, the dugout is a team's bench area and is located in foul territory between home plate and either first or third base. There are two dugouts, one for the home team and one for the visiting team. In general, the dugout is occupied by all players not prescribed to be on the field at that...

 and yelled that he should "go back to the cotton fields". Rickey later recalled that Phillies manager Ben Chapman
Ben Chapman (baseball player)
William Benjamin "Ben" Chapman was an American outfielder and manager in Major League Baseball who played for several teams, most notably the New York Yankees. During the period from 1926 to 1943, he had more stolen bases than any other player, leading the American League four times...

 "did more than anybody to unite the Dodgers. When he poured out that string of unconscionable abuse, he solidified and united thirty men."

Robinson received significant encouragement from several major league players. Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese
Pee Wee Reese
Harold Peter Henry "Pee Wee" Reese was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball as a shortstop for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from to . A ten-time All Star, Reese contributed to seven National League championships for the Dodgers and, was inducted...

 once came to Robinson's defense with the famous line, "You can hate a man for many reasons. Color is not one of them." In 1948, Reese put his arm around Robinson in response to fans who shouted racial slurs at Robinson before a game in Cincinnati. A statue by sculptor William Behrends, unveiled at KeySpan Park
KeySpan Park
MCU Park is a minor league baseball stadium in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, New York City, USA. The home team is the New York Mets-affiliated Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York - Penn League...

 on November 1, 2005, commemorates this event by representing Reese with his arm around Robinson. Jewish baseball star Hank Greenberg
Hank Greenberg
Henry Benjamin "Hank" Greenberg , nicknamed "Hammerin' Hank" or "The Hebrew Hammer," was an American professional baseball player in the 1930s and 1940s. A first baseman primarily for the Detroit Tigers, Greenberg was one of the premier power hitters of his generation...

, who had to deal with racial epithets during his career, also encouraged Robinson. After colliding with Robinson at first base on one occasion, Greenberg whispered a few words into Robinson's ear, which Robinson later characterized as "words of encouragement." Greenberg had advised him that the best way to combat the slurs from the opposing players was to beat them on the field.

Robinson finished the season having played in 151 games for the Dodgers, with a batting average
Batting average
Batting average is a statistic in both cricket and baseball that measures the performance of cricket batsmen and baseball hitters. The two statistics are related in that baseball averages are directly descended from the concept of cricket averages.- Cricket :...

 of .297, an on-base percentage of .383, and a .427 slugging percentage. He had 175 hits (scoring 125 runs) including 31 doubles, 5 triples, 12 home runs, driving in 48 runs for the year. Robinson led the league in sacrifice hits, with 28, and in stolen bases, with 29. His cumulative performance earned him the inaugural Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award
MLB Rookie of the Year Award
In Major League Baseball, the Rookie of the Year Award is annually given to one player from each league as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America . The award was established in 1940 by the Chicago chapter of the BBWAA, which selected an annual winner from 1940 through 1946...

 (separate National and American League Rookie of the Year honors were not awarded until 1949).

MVP, Congressional testimony, and film biography (1948–1950)


Following Stanky's trade to the Boston Braves
Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are a professional baseball club based in Atlanta, Georgia. The Braves are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League. The Braves have played in Turner Field since 1997....

 in March 1948, Robinson took over second base, where he logged a .980 fielding percentage
Fielding percentage
In baseball statistics, fielding percentage, also known as fielding average, is a measure that reflects the percentage of times a defensive player properly handles a batted or thrown ball...

 that year (second in the National League
National League
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, known simply as the National League , is the older of two leagues constituting Major League Baseball, and the world's oldest extant professional team sports league. Founded on February 2, 1876, to replace the National Association of Professional...

 at the position, fractionally behind Stanky). Robinson had a batting average of .296 and 22 stolen bases for the season. In a 12–7 win against the St. Louis Cardinals on August 29, , he hit for the cycle
Hitting for the cycle
In baseball, hitting for the cycle is the accomplishment of one batter hitting a single, a double, a triple, and a home run in the same game. Collecting the hits in that order is known as a "natural cycle". Cycles are uncommon in Major League Baseball , occurring 293 times since the first by Curry...

—a home run
Home run
In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to reach home safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process...

, a triple
Triple (baseball)
In baseball, a triple is the act of a batter safely reaching third base after hitting the ball, with neither the benefit of a fielder's misplay nor another runner being put out on a fielder's choice....

, a double
Double (baseball)
In baseball, a double is the act of a batter striking the pitched ball and safely reaching second base without being called out by the umpire, without the benefit of a fielder's misplay or another runner being put out on a fielder's choice....

, and a single
Single (baseball)
In baseball, a single is the most common type of base hit, accomplished through the act of a batter safely reaching first base by hitting a fair ball and getting to first base before a fielder puts him out...

 in the same game. The Dodgers briefly moved into first place in the National League in late August 1948, but they ultimately finished third as the Braves went on to win the league title and lose to the Cleveland Indians in the World Series
1948 World Series
The 1948 World Series matched the Cleveland Indians against the Boston Braves. The Braves had won the National League pennant for the first time since the "Miracle Braves" team of . The Indians spoiled a chance for the only all-Boston World Series by winning a one-game playoff against the Boston...

.

Racial pressure on Robinson eased in 1948 as a number of other black players entered the major leagues. Larry Doby
Larry Doby
Lawrence Eugene "Larry" Doby was an American professional baseball player in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball....

 (who broke the color barrier in the American League
American League
The American League of Professional Baseball Clubs, or simply the American League , is one of two leagues that make up Major League Baseball in the United States and Canada. It developed from the Western League, a minor league based in the Great Lakes states, which eventually aspired to major...

 on July 5, 1947) and Satchel Paige
Satchel Paige
Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige was an American baseball player whose pitching in the Negro leagues and in Major League Baseball made him a legend in his own lifetime...

 played for the Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians are a professional baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Since , they have played in Progressive Field. The team's spring training facility is in Goodyear, Arizona...

, and the Dodgers had three other black players besides Robinson. In February 1948, he signed a $12,500 contract (equal to $ today) with the Dodgers; while a significant amount, this was less than Robinson made in the off-season from a vaudeville
Vaudeville
Vaudeville was a theatrical genre of variety entertainment in the United States and Canada from the early 1880s until the early 1930s. Each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill...

 tour, where he answered pre-set baseball questions, and a speaking tour of the South. Between the tours, he underwent surgery on his right ankle. Because of his off-season activities, Robinson reported to training camp 30 pounds (13.6 kg) overweight. He lost the weight during training camp, but dieting left him weak at the plate.

In the spring of 1949, Robinson turned to Hall of Famer George Sisler
George Sisler
George Harold Sisler , nicknamed "Gentleman George" and "Gorgeous George," was an American professional baseball player for 15 seasons, primarily as first baseman with the St. Louis Browns...

, working as an advisor to the Dodgers, for batting help. At Sisler's suggestion, Robinson spent hours at a batting tee, learning to hit the ball to right field. Sisler taught Robinson to anticipate a fastball, on the theory that it is easier to subsequently adjust to a slower curveball. Robinson also noted that "Sisler showed me how to stop lunging, how to check my swing until the last fraction of a second". The tutelage helped Robinson raise his batting average from .296 in 1948 to .342 in 1949. In addition to his improved batting average, Robinson stole 37 bases that season, was second place in the league for both doubles and triples, and registered 124 runs batted in
Run batted in
Runs batted in or RBIs is a statistic used in baseball and softball to credit a batter when the outcome of his at-bat results in a run being scored, except in certain situations such as when an error is made on the play. The first team to track RBI was the Buffalo Bisons.Common nicknames for an RBI...

 with 122 runs scored. For the performance Robinson earned the Most Valuable Player
MLB Most Valuable Player Award
The Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award is an annual Major League Baseball award, given to one outstanding player in the American League and one in the National League. Since 1931, it has been awarded by the Baseball Writers Association of America...

 award for the National League. Baseball fans also voted Robinson as the starting second baseman for the 1949 All-Star Game
Major League Baseball All-Star Game
The Major League Baseball All-Star Game, also known as the "Midsummer Classic", is an annual baseball game between players from the National League and the American League, currently selected by a combination of fans, players, coaches, and managers...

—the first All-Star Game to include black players.

That year, a song about Robinson by Buddy Johnson
Buddy Johnson
Not to be confused with Budd Johnson.Buddy Johnson was an American jazz and New York blues pianist and bandleader, active from the 1930s through the 1960s...

, "Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?", reached number 13 on the charts; Count Basie
Count Basie
William "Count" Basie was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. Basie led his jazz orchestra almost continuously for nearly 50 years...

 recorded a famous version. Ultimately, the Dodgers won the National League pennant, but lost in five games to the New York Yankees
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the The Bronx, New York. They compete in Major League Baseball in the American League's East Division...

 in the 1949 World Series
1949 World Series
The 1949 World Series featured the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, with the Yankees winning in five games for their second defeat of the Dodgers in three years, and the twelfth championship in team history...

.

Summer 1949 brought an unwanted distraction for Robinson. In July, he was called to testify before the United States House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

' Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) concerning statements made that April by black athlete and actor Paul Robeson
Paul Robeson
Paul Leroy Robeson was an American concert singer , recording artist, actor, athlete, scholar who was an advocate for the Civil Rights Movement in the first half of the twentieth century...

. Robinson was reluctant to testify, but he eventually agreed to do so, fearing it might negatively affect his career if he declined.

In 1950, Robinson led the National League in double play
Double play
In baseball, a double play for a team or a fielder is the act of making two outs during the same continuous playing action. In baseball slang, making a double play is referred to as "turning two"....

s made by a second baseman with 133. His salary that year was the highest any Dodger had been paid to that point: $35,000 ($ in dollars). He finished the year with 99 runs scored, a .328 batting average, and 12 stolen bases. The year saw the release of a film biography of Robinson's life, The Jackie Robinson Story
The Jackie Robinson Story
The Jackie Robinson Story is a 1950 biographical film starring baseball legend Jackie Robinson as himself. The film focuses on Robinson's struggle with the abuse of racist bigots as he becomes the first African American Major League Baseball player of the modern era...

, in which Robinson played himself, and actress Ruby Dee
Ruby Dee
Ruby Dee is an American actress, poet, playwright, screenwriter, journalist, and activist, perhaps best known for co-starring in the film A Raisin in the Sun and the film American Gangster for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.-Early years:Dee was born Ruby...

 played Rachael "Rae" (Isum) Robinson. The project had been previously delayed when the film's producers refused to accede to demands of two Hollywood studios that the movie include scenes of Robinson being tutored in baseball by a white man. The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

wrote that Robinson, "doing that rare thing of playing himself in the picture's leading role, displays a calm assurance and composure that might be envied by many a Hollywood star."

Robinson's Hollywood exploits, however, did not sit well with Dodgers co-owner Walter O'Malley
Walter O'Malley
Walter Francis O'Malley was an American sports executive who owned the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers team in Major League Baseball from to . He served as Brooklyn Dodgers chief legal counsel when Jackie Robinson broke the racial color barrier in...

, who referred to Robinson as "Rickey's prima donna
Prima donna
Originally used in opera or Commedia dell'arte companies, "prima donna" is Italian for "first lady." The term was used to designate the leading female singer in the opera company, the person to whom the prime roles would be given. The prima donna was normally, but not necessarily, a soprano...

". In late 1950, Rickey's contract as the Dodgers' team President expired. Weary of constant disagreements with O'Malley, and with no hope of being re-appointed as President of the Dodgers, Rickey cashed out his one-quarter financial interest in the team, leaving O'Malley in full control of the franchise. Rickey shortly thereafter became general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates are a Major League Baseball club based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They play in the Central Division of the National League, and are five-time World Series Champions...

. Robinson was disappointed at the turn of events and wrote a sympathetic letter to Rickey, whom he considered a father figure, stating, "Regardless of what happens to me in the future, it all can be placed on what you have done and, believe me, I appreciate it."

Pennant races and outside interests (1951–1953)


Before the 1951 season, O'Malley reportedly offered Robinson the job of manager of the Montreal Royals, effective at the end of Robinson's playing career. O'Malley was quoted in the Montreal Standard as saying, "Jackie told me that he would be both delighted and honored to tackle this managerial post"—although reports differed as to whether a position was ever formally offered.

During the 1951 season, Robinson led the National League in double plays made by a second baseman for the second year in a row, with 137. He also kept the Dodgers in contention for the 1951 pennant. During the last game of the season, in the 13th inning, he had a hit to tie the game, and then won the game with a home run in the 14th. This forced a playoff against the New York Giants
San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants are a Major League Baseball team based in San Francisco, California, playing in the National League West Division....

, which the Dodgers lost.

Despite Robinson's regular-season heroics, the Dodgers lost the pennant on Bobby Thomson
Bobby Thomson
Robert Brown "Bobby" Thomson was a Scottish-born American professional baseball player. Nicknamed "The Staten Island Scot", he was an outfielder and right-handed batter for the New York Giants , Milwaukee Braves , Chicago Cubs , Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles .His season-ending three-run...

's famous home run, known as the Shot Heard 'Round the World
Shot Heard 'Round the World (baseball)
In baseball, the "Shot Heard 'round the World" is the term given to the walk-off home run hit by New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca at the Polo Grounds to win the National League pennant at 3:58 p.m...

, on October 3, 1951. Overcoming his dejection, Robinson dutifully observed Thomson's feet to ensure he touched all the bases. Dodgers sportscaster Vin Scully
Vin Scully
Vincent Edward Scully is an American sportscaster, known primarily as the play-by-play voice of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team on Prime Ticket, KCAL-TV and KABC radio...

 later noted that the incident showed "how much of a competitor Robinson was." He finished the season with 106 runs scored, a batting average of .335, and 25 stolen bases.

Robinson had what was an average year for him in 1952. He finished the year with 104 runs, a .308 batting average, and 24 stolen bases. He did, however, record a career-high on-base percentage of .436. The Dodgers improved on their performance from the year before, winning the National League pennant before losing the 1952 World Series
1952 World Series
The 1952 World Series featured the three-time defending champion New York Yankees beating the Brooklyn Dodgers in seven games. The Yankees won their fourth straight title—tying the mark they set between 1936 and 1939 under manager Joe McCarthy, and Casey Stengel became the second manager in Major...

 to the New York Yankees in seven games. That year, on the television show Youth Wants to Know, Robinson challenged the Yankees' general manager, George Weiss
George Weiss (baseball)
George Martin Weiss was an American baseball executive. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971.Weiss was one of Major League Baseball's most successful farm system directors and general managers...

, on the racial record of his team, which had yet to sign a black player. Sportswriter Dick Young
Dick Young (sportswriter)
Dick Young was a sportswriter best known for his direct and abrasive style, and his 45-year association with the New York Daily News...

, whom Robinson had described as a "bigot", said, "If there was one flaw in Jackie, it was the common one. He believed that everything unpleasant that happened to him happened because of his blackness." The 1952 season was the last year Robinson was an everyday starter at second base. Afterward, Robinson played variously at first, second, and third bases, shortstop, and in the outfield
Outfielder
Outfielder is a generic term applied to each of the people playing in the three defensive positions in baseball farthest from the batter. These defenders are the left fielder, the center fielder, and the right fielder...

, with Jim Gilliam
Jim Gilliam
James William Gilliam was an American second and third baseman and coach in Negro League and Major League Baseball who spent his entire major league career with the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was named the National League Rookie of the Year, and was a key member of ten NL championship...

, another black player, taking over everyday second base duties. Robinson's interests began to shift toward the prospect of managing a major league team. He had hoped to gain experience by managing in the Puerto Rican Winter League, but according to the New York Post
New York Post
The New York Post is the 13th-oldest newspaper published in the United States and is generally acknowledged as the oldest to have been published continuously as a daily, although – as is the case with most other papers – its publication has been periodically interrupted by labor actions...

, Commissioner Happy Chandler denied the request.

In 1953, Robinson had 109 runs, a .329 batting average, and 17 steals, leading the Dodgers to another National League pennant (and another World Series
1953 World Series
The 1953 World Series matched the four-time defending champion New York Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers in a rematch of the 1952 Series. The Yankees won in six games for their fifth straight title—a mark which has not been equalled—and their sixteenth overall...

 loss to the Yankees, this time in six games). Robinson's continued success spawned a string of death threats. He was not dissuaded, however, from addressing racial issues publicly. That year, he served as editor for Our Sports magazine, a periodical focusing on Negro sports issues; contributions to the magazine included an article on golf course segregation by Robinson's old friend Joe Louis
Joe Louis
Joseph Louis Barrow , better known as Joe Louis, was the world heavyweight boxing champion from 1937 to 1949. He is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time...

. Robinson also openly criticized segregated hotels and restaurants that served the Dodger organization; a number of these establishments integrated as a result, including the five-star Chase Park Hotel
Chase Park Plaza Hotel
The Chase Park Plaza, located at 212 N. Kingshighway in the Central West End, St. Louis, Missouri, is a combination of two buildings housing a condominium tower , hotel , cinema, and several restaurants and bars, all constructed between 1920 and 1930.The hotel replaced nearby Buckingham Hotel as...

 in St. Louis.

World Championship and retirement (1954–1956)


In 1954, Robinson had 62 runs, a .311 batting average, and 7 steals. His best day at the plate was on June 17, when he hit two home runs and two doubles. The following autumn, Robinson won his only championship when the Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in the 1955 World Series
1955 World Series
The 1955 World Series matched the Brooklyn Dodgers against the New York Yankees, with the Dodgers winning the Series in seven games to capture their first championship in franchise history. It would be the only Series the Dodgers won in Brooklyn . The last time the Brooklyn franchise won a World...

. Although the team enjoyed ultimate success, 1955 was the worst year of Robinson's individual career. He hit .256 and stole only 12 bases. The Dodgers tried Robinson in the outfield and as a third baseman
Third baseman
A third baseman, abbreviated 3B, is the player in baseball whose responsibility is to defend the area nearest to third base — the third of four bases a baserunner must touch in succession to score a run...

, both because of his diminishing abilities and because Gilliam was established at second base. Robinson, then 37 years old, missed 49 games and did not play in Game 7 of the World Series. Robinson missed the game because manager Walter Alston
Walter Alston
Walter Emmons Alston , nicknamed "Smokey," was an American baseball player and manager. He was born in Venice, Ohio but grew up in Darrtown. He is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where he lettered three years in both basketball and baseball and is a member of the University's Hall...

 decided to play Gilliam at second and Don Hoak
Don Hoak
Donald Albert Hoak was a Major League Baseball player. Nicknamed "Tiger," Hoak was a third baseman who played ten seasons in the Majors with the Brooklyn Dodgers , Chicago Cubs , Cincinnati Reds , Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies...

 at third base. That season, the Dodgers' Don Newcombe
Don Newcombe
Donald Newcombe , nicknamed "Newk", is an American former Major League Baseball right-handed starting pitcher who played for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers , Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians .Until 2011 when Detroit Tigers Pitcher Justin Verlander did it, Newcombe was the only baseball...

 became the first black major league pitcher to win twenty games in a year.

In 1956, Robinson had 61 runs, a .275 batting average, and 12 steals. By then, he had begun to exhibit the effects of diabetes, and to lose interest in the prospect of playing or managing professional baseball. After the season, Robinson was traded by the Dodgers to the arch-rival New York Giants
San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants are a Major League Baseball team based in San Francisco, California, playing in the National League West Division....

 for Dick Littlefield
Dick Littlefield
Richard Bernard "Dick" Littlefield was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for nine teams between 1950 and 1958.Born in Detroit, Michigan, he died there at age 71....

 and $35,000 cash (equal to $ today). The trade, however, was never completed; unbeknownst to the Dodgers, Robinson had already agreed with the president of Chock full o'Nuts
Chock full o'Nuts
Chock full o’Nuts is a chain of lunch counters in New York City that spawned a brand of coffee.-History:The chain was founded by William Black , an American immigrant who sold nuts in Times Square to theater-goers. In 1926, he opened a store on Broadway and 43rd Street, and began selling coffee and...

 to quit baseball and become an executive with the company. Since Robinson had sold exclusive rights to any retirement story to Look
Look (American magazine)
Look was a bi-weekly, general-interest magazine published in Des Moines, Iowa from 1937 to 1971, with more of an emphasis on photographs than articles...

 magazine two years previously, his retirement decision was revealed through the magazine, instead of through the Dodgers organization.

Legacy




Robinson's major league debut brought an end to approximately sixty years of segregation in professional baseball, known as the baseball color line. After World War II, several other forces were also leading the country toward increased equality for blacks, including their accelerated migration of to the North, where their political clout grew, and President Harry Truman's desegregation of the military
Military history of African Americans
The military history of African Americans spans from the arrival of the first black slaves during the colonial history of the United States to the present day...

 in 1948. Robinson's breaking of the baseball color line and his professional success symbolized these broader changes and demonstrated that the fight for equality was more than simply a political matter. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

 said that he was "a legend and a symbol in his own time", and that he "challenged the dark skies of intolerance and frustration." According to historian Doris Kearns Goodwin
Doris Kearns Goodwin
Doris Kearns Goodwin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American biographer and historian, and an oft-seen political commentator. She is the author of biographies of several U.S...

, Robinson's "efforts were a monumental step in the civil-rights revolution in America ... [His] accomplishments allowed black and white Americans to be more respectful and open to one another and more appreciative of everyone's abilities."

Beginning his major league career at the relatively advanced age of twenty-eight, he played only ten seasons, all of them for the Brooklyn Dodgers. During his career, the Dodgers played in six World Series, and Robinson himself played in six All-Star Games. In 1999, he was posthumously named to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team
Major League Baseball All-Century Team
In 1999, the Major League Baseball All-Century Team was chosen by popular vote of fans. To select the team, a panel of experts first compiled a list of the 100 greatest Major League Baseball players from the past century...

.

Robinson's career is generally considered to mark the beginning of the post–"long ball" era in baseball, in which a reliance on raw power-hitting gave way to balanced offensive strategies that used footspeed to create runs through aggressive baserunning. Robinson exhibited the combination of hitting ability and speed which exemplified the new era. He scored more than 100 runs in six of his ten seasons (averaging more than 110 runs from 1947 to 1953), had a .311 career batting average, a .409 career on-base percentage, a .474 slugging percentage, and substantially more walks
Base on balls
A base on balls is credited to a batter and against a pitcher in baseball statistics when a batter receives four pitches that the umpire calls balls. It is better known as a walk. The base on balls is defined in Section 2.00 of baseball's Official Rules, and further detail is given in 6.08...

 than strikeout
Strikeout
In baseball or softball, a strikeout or strike-out occurs when a batter receives three strikes during his time at bat. A strikeout is a statistic recorded for both pitchers and batters....

s (740 to 291). Robinson 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 the other). He accumulated 197 stolen bases in total, including 19 steals of home. None of the latter were double steals (in which a player stealing home is assisted by a player stealing another base at the same time). Robinson has been referred to by author David Falkner as "the father of modern base-stealing."
Historical statistical analysis indicates Robinson was an outstanding fielder throughout his ten years in the major leagues and at virtually every position he played. After playing his rookie season at first base, Robinson spent most of his career as a second baseman. He led the league in fielding among second basemen in 1950 and 1951. Toward 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.

Assessing himself, Robinson said, "I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me ... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being." Regarding Robinson's qualities on the field, Leo Durocher
Leo Durocher
Leo Ernest Durocher , nicknamed Leo the Lip, was an American infielder and manager in Major League Baseball. Upon his retirement, he ranked fifth all-time among managers with 2,009 career victories, second only to John McGraw in National League history. Durocher still ranks tenth in career wins by...

 said, "Ya want a guy that comes to play. This guy didn't just come to play. He come to beat ya. He come to stuff the goddamn bat right up your ass."

Post-baseball life


Robinson retired from baseball on January 5, 1957. Later that year, after he complained of numerous physical ailments, his doctors diagnosed Robinson with diabetes
Diabetes mellitus
Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced...

, a disease that also affected his brothers. Although Robinson adopted an insulin injection regimen, the state of medicine at the time could not prevent continued deterioration of Robinson's physical condition from the disease.

In his first year of eligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is an American history museum and hall of fame, located at 25 Main Street in Cooperstown, New York, operated by private interests serving as the central point for the study of the history of baseball in the United States and beyond, the display of...

 in 1962, Robinson encouraged voters to consider only his on-field qualifications, rather than his cultural impact on the game. He was elected
Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 1962
Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1962 followed a new system for even-number years. Since 1956 the Baseball Writers Association of America and Veterans Committee had alternated in their duties but the BBWAA, voting by mail to select from recent major league players, had elected no one for...

 on the first ballot, becoming the first black player inducted into the Cooperstown
Cooperstown, New York
Cooperstown is a village in Otsego County, New York, USA. It is located in the Town of Otsego. The population was estimated to be 1,852 at the 2010 census.The Village of Cooperstown is the county seat of Otsego County, New York...

 museum.

In 1965, Robinson served as an analyst for ABC's Major League Baseball Game of the Week
Major League Baseball Game of the Week
The Major League Baseball Game of the Week is the de facto title for over-the-air, nationally televised coverage of regular season Major League Baseball games...

telecasts, the first black person to do so. In 1966, Robinson was hired as general manager for the short-lived Brooklyn Dodgers of the Continental Football League
Continental Football League
The Continental Football League was a professional minor American football league that operated in North America from 1965 through 1969. It was established following the collapse of the original United Football League, and hoped to become the major force in professional football outside of the...

. In 1972, he served as a part-time commentator on Montreal Expos
Montreal Expos
The Montreal Expos were a Major League Baseball team located in Montreal, Quebec from 1969 through 2004, holding the first MLB franchise awarded outside the United States. After the 2004 season, MLB moved the Expos to Washington, D.C. and renamed them the Nationals.Named after the Expo 67 World's...

 telecasts.

On June 4, 1972, the Dodgers retired his uniform number, 42, alongside those of Roy Campanella
Roy Campanella
Roy Campanella , nicknamed "Campy", was an American baseball player, primarily at the position of catcher, in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball...

 (39) and Sandy Koufax
Sandy Koufax
Sanford "Sandy" Koufax is a former left-handed baseball pitcher who played his entire 12-year Major League Baseball career for the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers...

 (32). From 1957 to 1964, Robinson was the vice president for personnel at Chock full o'Nuts; he was the first black person to serve as vice president of a major American corporation. Robinson always considered his business career as advancing the cause of black people in commerce and industry. Robinson also chaired the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, usually abbreviated as NAACP, is an African-American civil rights organization in the United States, formed in 1909. Its mission is "to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to...

's (NAACP) million-dollar Freedom Fund Drive in 1957, and served on the organization's board until 1967. In 1964, he helped found, with Harlem
Harlem
Harlem is a neighborhood in the New York City borough of Manhattan, which since the 1920s has been a major African-American residential, cultural and business center. Originally a Dutch village, formally organized in 1658, it is named after the city of Haarlem in the Netherlands...

 businessman Dunbar McLaurin, Freedom National Bank—a black-owned and operated commercial bank based in Harlem. He also served as the bank's first Chairman of the Board. In 1970, Robinson established the Jackie Robinson Construction Company to build housing for low-income families.
Robinson was active in politics throughout his post-baseball life. He identified himself as a political independent although he held conservative opinions on several issues, including the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 (he once wrote Martin Luther King, Jr. to defend the Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 Administration's military policy). After supporting Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 in his 1960 presidential race against John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy , often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963....

, Robinson later praised Kennedy effusively for his stance on civil rights. He subsequently supported Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

 against Nixon in 1968. In 1964, Robinson became one of six national directors for Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Rockefeller
Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller was the 41st Vice President of the United States , serving under President Gerald Ford, and the 49th Governor of New York , as well as serving the Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower administrations in a variety of positions...

's Republican presidential campaign and later became special assistant for community affairs when Rockefeller was re-elected governor of New York in 1966.

Protesting the major leagues' ongoing lack of minority managers and central office personnel, Robinson turned down an invitation to appear in an old-timers' game
Old-Timers' Day
Old-Timers' Day generally refers to a tradition in Major League Baseball of a team, especially the New York Yankees, devoting the early afternoon preceding a weekend late afternoon game to celebrate the baseball-related accomplishments of its former players who have since retired...

 at Yankee Stadium in 1969. He made his final public appearance on October 15, 1972, throwing the ceremonial first pitch
Ceremonial first pitch
The ceremonial first ball is a longstanding ritual of American baseball in which a guest of honor throws a ball to mark the end of pregame festivities and the start of the game. Originally, the guest threw a ball from his/her place in the grandstand to the pitcher or catcher of the home team...

 before Game 2 of the World Series
1972 World Series
The 1972 World Series matched the American League champion Oakland Athletics against the National League champion Cincinnati Reds, with the A's winning in seven games. These two teams would meet again in the fall classic eighteen years later...

. He gratefully accepted a plaque honoring the twenty-fifth anniversary of his MLB debut, but also commented, "I'm going to be tremendously more pleased and more proud when I look at that third base coaching line one day and see a black face managing in baseball." This wish was fulfilled only after Robinson's death: following the 1974 season, the Cleveland Indians
Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians are a professional baseball team based in Cleveland, Ohio. They are in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. Since , they have played in Progressive Field. The team's spring training facility is in Goodyear, Arizona...

 gave their managerial post to Frank Robinson
Frank Robinson
Frank Robinson , is a former Major League Baseball outfielder and manager. He played from 1956–1976, most notably for the Cincinnati Reds and the Baltimore Orioles. He is the only player to win league MVP honors in both the National and American Leagues...

 (no relation), a Hall of Fame-bound player who would go on to manage three other teams. Despite the success of these two Robinsons and other black players, the number of African-American players in Major League Baseball has declined since the 1970s.

Family life and death


After Robinson's retirement from baseball, his wife, Rachel Robinson
Rachel Robinson
Rachel Robinson is a former nurse and the widow of baseball player Jackie Robinson. She was born in Los Angeles, and attended the University of California, Los Angeles. There, she met Jackie in 1941, and they married in 1946. A baby, Jackie Robinson, Jr., was born to her in November 1946...

, pursued a career in academic nursing—she became an assistant professor at the Yale School of Nursing
Yale School of Nursing
Established in 1923 in New Haven, Connecticut, U.S., Yale School of Nursing has become a leading school of nursing in the United States with a reputation for excellence in teaching, research and clinical practice. The school is ranked in the top ten graduate schools of nursing in the United States...

 and director of nursing at the Connecticut Mental Health Center. She also served on the board of the Freedom National Bank until it closed in 1990. She and Jackie had three children: Jackie Robinson Jr. (born November 18, 1946), Sharon Robinson (born January 13, 1950), and David Robinson (born May 14, 1952).

Robinson's eldest son, Jackie Robinson Jr., had emotional trouble during his childhood and entered special education at an early age. He enrolled in the Army in search of a disciplined environment, served in the Vietnam War, and was wounded in action on November 19, 1965. After his discharge, he struggled with drug problems. Robinson Jr. eventually completed the treatment program at Daytop Village in Seymour, Connecticut
Seymour, Connecticut
Seymour is a town located in western New Haven County, Connecticut, United States. The town was named for Governor Thomas H. Seymour. The population was 15,454 at the 2000 census.-Geography:...

, and became a counselor at the institution. On June 17, 1971, at the age of 24, he was killed in an automobile accident. The experience with his son's drug addiction turned Robinson, Sr. into an avid anti-drug crusader toward the end of his life.

Robinson did not long outlive his son. Complications of heart disease and diabetes weakened Robinson and made him almost blind by middle age. On October 24, 1972, he died of a heart attack
Myocardial infarction
Myocardial infarction or acute myocardial infarction , commonly known as a heart attack, results from the interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart, causing heart cells to die...

 at home in Stamford
Stamford, Connecticut
Stamford is a city in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. According to the 2010 census, the population of the city is 122,643, making it the fourth largest city in the state and the eighth largest city in New England...

, Connecticut, aged fifty-three. Robinson's funeral service on October 27, 1972, at New York City's Riverside Church attracted 2,500 admirers. Many of his former teammates and other famous black baseball players served as pallbearers, and the Rev. Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson
Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr. is an African-American civil rights activist and Baptist minister. He was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988 and served as shadow senator for the District of Columbia from 1991 to 1997. He was the founder of both entities that merged to...

 gave the eulogy. Tens of thousands of people lined the subsequent procession route to Robinson's interment site at Cypress Hills Cemetery
Cypress Hills Cemetery, Brooklyn
Cypress Hills Cemetery was the first non-sectarian/non-denominational cemetery corporation organized in the Brooklyn/Queens area of New York City. The Cemetery is run as a non-for-profit organization and is located at 833 Jamaica Avenue in Brooklyn...

 in Brooklyn
Brooklyn
Brooklyn is the most populous of New York City's five boroughs, with nearly 2.6 million residents, and the second-largest in area. Since 1896, Brooklyn has had the same boundaries as Kings County, which is now the most populous county in New York State and the second-most densely populated...

, New York, where he is buried next to his son Jackie and mother-in-law Zellee Isum. Jackie Robinson Parkway
Jackie Robinson Parkway
The Jackie Robinson Parkway is a parkway in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. The western terminus of the parkway is at Jamaica Avenue in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York. It runs through Highland Park, along the north side of Ridgewood Reservoir, and through Forest Park...

 also runs through the cemetery.

After Robinson's death, his widow founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation
Jackie Robinson Foundation
The Jackie Robinson Foundation is a non-profit organization which gives scholarships to minority youths for higher education, as well as preserving the legacy of Baseball Hall of Fame member, Jackie Robinson. The foundation was founded by Rachel Robinson, the wife of Jackie, in 1973, a couple of...

, of which she remains an officer as of 2009. On April 15, 2008, she announced that in 2010 the foundation will be opening a museum devoted to Jackie in Lower Manhattan. Robinson's daughter, Sharon, became a midwife, educator, director of educational programming for MLB, and the author of two books about her father. His youngest son, David, who has ten children, is a coffee grower and social activist in Tanzania
Tanzania
The United Republic of Tanzania is a country in East Africa bordered by Kenya and Uganda to the north, Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the west, and Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique to the south. The country's eastern borders lie on the Indian Ocean.Tanzania is a state...

.

Awards and recognition


According to a poll conducted in 1947, Robinson was the second most popular man in the country, behind Bing Crosby
Bing Crosby
Harry Lillis "Bing" Crosby was an American singer and actor. Crosby's trademark bass-baritone voice made him one of the best-selling recording artists of the 20th century, with over half a billion records in circulation....

. In 1999, he was named by Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

on its list of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century
Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century
Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century is a compilation of the 20th century's 100 most influential people, published in Time magazine in 1999....

. Also in 1999, he ranked number 44 on the Sporting News list of Baseball's 100 Greatest Players and was elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team
Major League Baseball All-Century Team
In 1999, the Major League Baseball All-Century Team was chosen by popular vote of fans. To select the team, a panel of experts first compiled a list of the 100 greatest Major League Baseball players from the past century...

 as the top vote-getter among second basemen. Baseball writer Bill James
Bill James
George William “Bill” James is a baseball writer, historian, and statistician whose work has been widely influential. Since 1977, James has written more than two dozen books devoted to baseball history and statistics...

, in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, ranked Robinson as the 32nd greatest player of all time strictly on the basis of his performance on the field, noting that he was one of the top players in the league throughout his career. Robinson was among the 25 charter members of UCLA’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984. In 2002, Molefi Kete Asante
Molefi Kete Asante
Molefi Kete Asante is an African-American scholar, historian, and philosopher. He is a leading figure in the fields of African American studies, African Studies and Communication Studies...

 included Robinson on his list of 100 Greatest African Americans
100 Greatest African Americans
100 Greatest African Americans is a biographical dictionary of the one hundred historically greatest African Americans , as assessed by Molefi Kete Asante in 2002.-Criteria:...

. Robinson has also been honored by the United States Postal Service on three separate postage stamps, in 1982, 1999, and 2000.

The City of Pasadena has recognized Robinson in several ways. Brookside Park
Brookside Park/Arroyo Terrace, Pasadena, California
Brookside Park is a major neighborhood in Pasadena, California. Its northern end is sometimes called Arroyo Terrace. It is Pasadena's second largest neighborhood by area, and its second most sparsely populated....

, situated next to the Rose Bowl
Rose Bowl (stadium)
The Rose Bowl is an outdoor athletic stadium in Pasadena, California, U.S., in Los Angeles County. The stadium is the site of the annual college football bowl game, the Rose Bowl, held on New Year's Day. In 1982, it became the home field of the UCLA Bruins college football team of the Pac-12...

, features a baseball diamond and stadium named Jackie Robinson Field. The city's Human Services Department operates the Jackie Robinson Center, a community outreach center that provides early diabetes detection and other services. In 1997, a $325,000 bronze sculpture (equal to $ today) by artists Ralph Helmick, Stu Schecter, and John Outterbridge depicting oversized nine-foot busts of Robinson and his brother Mack was erected at Garfield Avenue, across from the main entrance of Pasadena City Hall
Pasadena City Hall
Pasadena City Hall, completed in 1927, serves as the central location for city government in the City of Pasadena and it is a significant example of the City Beautiful movement of the 1920s.-History:...

; a granite footprint lists multiple donors to the commission project, which was organized by the Robinson Memorial Foundation and supported by members of the Robinson family.

Major League Baseball has honored Robinson many times since his death. In 1987, both the National and American League Rookie of the Year
MLB Rookie of the Year Award
In Major League Baseball, the Rookie of the Year Award is annually given to one player from each league as voted on by the Baseball Writers Association of America . The award was established in 1940 by the Chicago chapter of the BBWAA, which selected an annual winner from 1940 through 1946...

 Awards were renamed the "Jackie Robinson Award" in honor of the first recipient (Robinson's Major League Rookie of the Year Award in 1947 encompassed both leagues). On April 15, 1997, Robinson's jersey number, 42, was retired throughout Major League Baseball, the first time any jersey number had been retired throughout one of the four major American sports leagues
Major North American professional sports teams
The following is a list of teams that play in one of the six major sports leagues in the United States and Canada: Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the Canadian Football League, the National Hockey League, the National Basketball Association, and Major League Soccer. All lists...

.

As an exception to the retired-number policy, MLB has recently begun honoring Robinson by allowing players to wear number 42 on April 15, Jackie Robinson Day
Jackie Robinson Day
Jackie Robinson Day is a traditional event which occurs annually in Major League Baseball, commemorating and honoring the day Jackie Robinson made his major league debut. Initiated for the first time on April 15, 2004, Jackie Robinson Day is celebrated each year on that day...

. For the 60th anniversary of Robinson's major league debut, MLB invited players to wear the number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day in 2007. The gesture was originally the idea of outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr.
Ken Griffey, Jr.
George Kenneth "Ken" Griffey, Jr. , nicknamed "Junior" and "The Kid", is a former Major League Baseball outfielder and during his final years, designated hitter...

, who sought Rachel Robinson's permission to wear the number. After receiving her permission, Commissioner Bud Selig
Bud Selig
Allan Huber "Bud" Selig is the ninth and current Commissioner of Major League Baseball, having served in that capacity since 1992 as the acting commissioner, and as the official commissioner since 1998...

 not only allowed Griffey to wear the number, but also extended an invitation to all major league teams to do the same. Ultimately, more than 200 players wore number 42, including the entire rosters of the Los Angeles Dodgers
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are a professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers are members of Major League Baseball's National League West Division. Established in 1883, the team originated in Brooklyn, New York, where it was known by a number of nicknames before becoming...

, New York Mets
New York Mets
The New York Mets are a professional baseball team based in the borough of Queens in New York City, New York. They belong to Major League Baseball's National League East Division. One of baseball's first expansion teams, the Mets were founded in 1962 to replace New York's departed National League...

, Houston Astros
Houston Astros
The Houston Astros are a Major League Baseball team located in Houston, Texas. They are a member of the National League Central division. The Astros are expected to join the American League West division in 2013. Since , they have played their home games at Minute Maid Park, known as Enron Field...

, Philadelphia Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies are a Major League Baseball team. They are the oldest continuous, one-name, one-city franchise in all of professional American sports, dating to 1883. The Phillies are a member of the Eastern Division of Major League Baseball's National League...

, St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals are a professional baseball team based in St. Louis, Missouri. They are members of the Central Division in the National League of Major League Baseball. The Cardinals have won eleven World Series championships, the most of any National League team, and second overall only to...

, Milwaukee Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers are a professional baseball team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, currently playing in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's National League...

, and Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pittsburgh Pirates are a Major League Baseball club based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They play in the Central Division of the National League, and are five-time World Series Champions...

. The tribute was continued in 2008, when, during games on April 15, all members of the Mets, Cardinals, Washington Nationals
Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals are a professional baseball team based in Washington, D.C. The Nationals are a member of the Eastern Division of the National League of Major League Baseball . The team moved into the newly built Nationals Park in 2008, after playing their first three seasons in RFK Stadium...

, and Tampa Bay Rays
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays are a Major League Baseball team based in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Rays are a member of the Eastern Division of MLB's American League. Since their inception in , the club has played at Tropicana Field...

 wore Robinson's number 42. On June 25, 2008, MLB installed a new plaque for Robinson at the Baseball Hall of Fame
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is an American history museum and hall of fame, located at 25 Main Street in Cooperstown, New York, operated by private interests serving as the central point for the study of the history of baseball in the United States and beyond, the display of...

 commemorating his off-the-field impact on the game as well as his playing statistics. In 2009, all uniformed personnel (players, managers, coaches, and umpires) wore number 42 on April 15.

At the November 2006 groundbreaking for a new ballpark for the New York Mets, Citi Field, it was announced that the main entrance, modeled on the one in Brooklyn's old Ebbets Field
Ebbets Field
Ebbets Field was a Major League Baseball park located in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York, USA, on a city block which is now considered to be part of the Crown Heights neighborhood. It was the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League. It was also a venue for professional football...

, would be called the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. The rotunda was dedicated at the opening of Citi Field on April 16, 2009. It honors Robinson with large quotations spanning the inner curve of the facade and features a large freestanding statue of his number, 42, which has become an attraction in itself. Mets owner Fred Wilpon
Fred Wilpon
Fred Wilpon is a real estate developer, baseball executive and the majority owner of the New York Mets.-Biography:...

 announced that, in conjunction with Citigroup
Citigroup
Citigroup Inc. or Citi is an American multinational financial services corporation headquartered in Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States. Citigroup was formed from one of the world's largest mergers in history by combining the banking giant Citicorp and financial conglomerate...

 and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, the Mets will create a Jackie Robinson Museum and Learning Center, located at the headquarters of the Jackie Robinson Foundation at One Hudson Square in lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan
Lower Manhattan is the southernmost part of the island of Manhattan, the main island and center of business and government of the City of New York...

. The main purpose of the museum will be to fund scholarships for "young people who live by and embody Jackie's ideals."

Since 2004, the Aflac National High School Baseball Player of the Year has been presented the "Jackie Robinson Award".

Robinson has also been recognized outside of baseball. In December 1956, the NAACP recognized him with the Spingarn Medal
Spingarn Medal
The Spingarn Medal is awarded annually by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for outstanding achievement by an African American....

, which it awards annually for the highest achievement by an African-American. President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 posthumously awarded Robinson the Presidential Medal of Freedom
Presidential Medal of Freedom
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is an award bestowed by the President of the United States and is—along with thecomparable Congressional Gold Medal bestowed by an act of U.S. Congress—the highest civilian award in the United States...

 on March 26, 1984, and on March 2, 2005, President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 gave Robinson's widow the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress; Robinson was only the second baseball player to receive the award, after Roberto Clemente
Roberto Clemente
Roberto Clemente Walker was a Puerto Rican Major League Baseball right fielder. He was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico, the youngest of seven children. Clemente played his entire 18-year baseball career with the Pittsburgh Pirates . He was awarded the National League's Most Valuable Player Award in...

. On August 20, 2007, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011....

 and his wife, Maria Shriver
Maria Shriver
Maria Owings Shriver is an American journalist and author of six best-selling books. She has received a Peabody Award, and was co-anchor for NBC's Emmy-winning coverage of the 1988 Summer Olympics. As executive producer of The Alzheimer's Project, Shriver earned two Emmy Awards and an Academy of...

, announced that Robinson was inducted into the California Hall of Fame
California Hall of Fame
Conceived by First Lady Maria Shriver, the California Hall of Fame was established at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts to honor individuals and families who embody California’s innovative spirit and have made their mark on history...

, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts
The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts
The California Museum, formerly The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts – home of the California Hall of Fame – is housed in the State Archives Building in Sacramento, one block from the State Capitol...

 in Sacramento.

A number of buildings have been named in Robinson's honor. The UCLA Bruins baseball
UCLA Bruins baseball
UCLA Bruins baseball team represents the University of California, Los Angeles in the NCAA baseball competition. Having started playing in 1920, the team is a member of the Pacific-10 Conference and plays its home games at Jackie Robinson Stadium. It has produced many Major and Minor League...

 team plays in Jackie Robinson Stadium
Jackie Robinson Stadium (UCLA baseball)
Jackie Robinson Stadium is a college baseball stadium in Los Angeles, California, U.S., the home field of the UCLA Bruins of the Pac 10 Conference. Opened in 1981, it is the smallest stadium in the conference, with a seating capacity of just 1,250...

, which, because of the efforts of Jackie's brother Mack, features a memorial statue of Robinson by sculptor Richard H. Ellis. City Island Ballpark in Daytona Beach, Florida—the baseball field that became the Dodgers' de facto spring training site in 1947—was renamed Jackie Robinson Ballpark in 1989. A number of facilities at Pasadena City College
Pasadena City College
Pasadena City College is a community college in Pasadena, California, USA, located on Colorado Boulevard. PCC is the third largest community college campus in the United States. PCC was founded in 1924 as Pasadena Junior College. In 1954, Pasadena Junior College merged with another junior...

 (successor to PJC) are named in Robinson's honor, including Robinson Field, a football/soccer/track facility named jointly for Robinson and his brother Mack. The New York Public School system has named a middle school after Robinson, and Dorsey High School
Susan Miller Dorsey High School
Susan Miller Dorsey High School is a high school located in Los Angeles, California.Dorsey is a part of the Los Angeles Unified School District. The school serves Baldwin Hills, Baldwin Village, Jefferson Park, Leimert Park, and portions of Crenshaw....

 plays at a Los Angeles football stadium named after him. In 1976, his home in Brooklyn, the Jackie Robinson House
Jackie Robinson House
Jackie Robinson House was a Brooklyn home of baseball great Jackie Robinson from 1947 when he was earned Rookie of the Year with the Brooklyn Dodgers through 1949 when he was voted Most Valuable Player. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976....

, was declared a National Historic Landmark
National Historic Landmark
A National Historic Landmark is a building, site, structure, object, or district, that is officially recognized by the United States government for its historical significance...

. Robinson also has an asteroid
Asteroid
Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

 named after him, 4319 Jackierobinson
4319 Jackierobinson
4319 Jackierobinson is a main-belt asteroid discovered on March 1, 1981 by Schelte J. Bus at Siding Spring Observatory in the course of the U.K. Schmidt-Caltech Asteroid Survey. It was named after Jackie Robinson, the first African-American major league baseball player of the modern era.- External...

. In 1997, the United States Mint issued a Jackie Robinson commemorative silver dollar, and five dollar gold coin. That same year, New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 renamed the Interboro Parkway in his honor
Jackie Robinson Parkway
The Jackie Robinson Parkway is a parkway in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. The western terminus of the parkway is at Jamaica Avenue in the Brooklyn neighborhood of East New York. It runs through Highland Park, along the north side of Ridgewood Reservoir, and through Forest Park...

.

In 2011, the U.S. placed a plaque at Robinson's Montreal home to honor the ending of segregation in baseball. The home is located at 8232 avenue de Gaspe south of rue de Guizot Est and near Jarry Park
Jarry Park
Jarry Park is an urban park in the Villeray neighbourhood of Montreal. From 1969 to 1976, the former Jarry Park Stadium was the home of the Montreal Expos, Canada's first Major League Baseball team. It also hosted a mass by Pope John Paul II...

 and close to Delorimier Stadium
Delorimier Stadium
Delorimier Stadium was a 20,000-seat sports stadium at 2101 Ontario Street East, at the corner of De Lorimier Avenue in the present-day Montreal borough of Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve...

, where Robinson played for the Montreal Royals
Montreal Royals
The Montreal Royals were a minor league professional baseball team located in Montreal, Quebec, that existed from 1897–1917 and from 1928–60 as a member of the International League and its progenitor, the original Eastern League...

 during 1946. In a letter read during the ceremony, Rachel Robinson, Jackie's widow, wrote: "I remember Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

 and that house very well and have always had warm feeling for that great city. Before Jack and I moved to Montreal, we had just been through some very rough treatment in the racially biased South during spring training in Florida. In the end, Montreal was the perfect place for him to get his start. We never had a threatening or unpleasant experience there. The people were so welcoming and saw Jack as a player and as a man."

Career statistics

Year Team G
Games played
Games played is a statistic used in team sports to indicate the total number of games in which a player has participated ; the statistic is generally applied irrespective of whatever portion of the game is contested.-Baseball:In baseball, the statistic applies also to players who, prior to a game,...

AB R
Run (baseball)
In baseball, a run is scored when a player advances around first, second and third base and returns safely to home plate, touching the bases in that order, before three outs are recorded and all obligations to reach base safely on batted balls are met or assured...

H
Hit (baseball)
In baseball statistics, a hit , also called a base hit, is credited to a batter when the batter safely reaches first base after hitting the ball into fair territory, without the benefit of an error or a fielder's choice....

2B
Double (baseball)
In baseball, a double is the act of a batter striking the pitched ball and safely reaching second base without being called out by the umpire, without the benefit of a fielder's misplay or another runner being put out on a fielder's choice....

3B
Triple (baseball)
In baseball, a triple is the act of a batter safely reaching third base after hitting the ball, with neither the benefit of a fielder's misplay nor another runner being put out on a fielder's choice....

HR
Home run
In baseball, a home run is scored when the ball is hit in such a way that the batter is able to reach home safely in one play without any errors being committed by the defensive team in the process...

RBI
Run batted in
Runs batted in or RBIs is a statistic used in baseball and softball to credit a batter when the outcome of his at-bat results in a run being scored, except in certain situations such as when an error is made on the play. The first team to track RBI was the Buffalo Bisons.Common nicknames for an RBI...

SB
Stolen base
In baseball, a stolen base occurs when a baserunner successfully advances to the next base while the pitcher is delivering the ball to home plate...

CS
Caught stealing
In baseball, a runner is charged, and the fielders involved are credited, with a time caught stealing when the runner attempts to advance or lead off from one base to another without the ball being batted and then is tagged out by a fielder while making the attempt...

BB SO
Strikeout
In baseball or softball, a strikeout or strike-out occurs when a batter receives three strikes during his time at bat. A strikeout is a statistic recorded for both pitchers and batters....

AVG
Batting average
Batting average is a statistic in both cricket and baseball that measures the performance of cricket batsmen and baseball hitters. The two statistics are related in that baseball averages are directly descended from the concept of cricket averages.- Cricket :...

OBP
On base percentage
In baseball statistics, on-base percentage is a measure of how often a batter reaches base for any reason other than a fielding error, fielder's choice, dropped/uncaught third strike, fielder's obstruction, or catcher's interference In baseball statistics, on-base percentage (OBP) (sometimes...

SLG TB
Total bases
In baseball statistics, total bases refers to the number of bases a player has gained with hits, i.e., the sum of his hits weighted by 1 for a single, 2 for a double, 3 for a triple and 4 for a home run.Only bases attained from hits count toward this total....

SH SF
Sacrifice fly
In baseball, a sacrifice fly is a batted ball that satisfies four criteria:* There are fewer than two outs when the ball is hit.* The ball is hit to the outfield....

IBB
Intentional base on balls
In baseball, an intentional base on balls, usually referred to as an intentional walk and denoted in baseball scorekeeping by IBB, is a walk issued to a batter by a pitcher with the intent of removing the batter's opportunity to swing at the pitched ball...

HBP
Hit by pitch
In baseball, hit by pitch , or hit batsman , is a batter or his equipment being hit in some part of his body by a pitch from the pitcher.-Official rule:...

GDP E
Error (baseball)
In baseball statistics, an error is the act, in the judgment of the official scorer, of a fielder misplaying a ball in a manner that allows a batter or baserunner to reach one or more additional bases, when such an advance would have been prevented given ordinary effort by the fielder.The term ...

Kansas City
Kansas City Monarchs
The Kansas City Monarchs were the longest-running franchise in the history of baseball's Negro Leagues. Operating in Kansas City, Missouri and owned by J.L. Wilkinson, they were charter members of the Negro National League from 1920 to 1930. J.L. Wilkinson was the first Caucasian owner at the time...

47 163 36 63 14 4 5 23 13 .387
Montreal
Montreal Royals
The Montreal Royals were a minor league professional baseball team located in Montreal, Quebec, that existed from 1897–1917 and from 1928–60 as a member of the International League and its progenitor, the original Eastern League...

124 444 113 155 25 8 3 66 40 92 27 .349 10
1947
1947 Major League Baseball season
-Statistical leaders:-Events:On April 15, Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers became the first modern day black player to play in the major leagues....

Brooklyn
1947 Brooklyn Dodgers season
On April 15, Jackie Robinson was the opening day first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first black player in Major League Baseball since . Robinson went on to bat .297, score 125 runs, steal 29 bases and be named the very first Rookie of the Year...

151 590 125 175 31 5 12 48 29 74 36 .297 .383 .427 252 28 9 5 16
1948
1948 Major League Baseball season
The Boston Braves won the NL pennant. Hopes for an all-Boston World Series were ended when the Cleveland Indians won a 1-game playoff against the Boston Red Sox to take the AL pennant.- External links :*...

Brooklyn
1948 Brooklyn Dodgers season
Leo Durocher returned as manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers to start the 1948 season but was fired in mid-season. He was replaced first by team coach Ray Blades and then by Burt Shotton, who had managed the team to the 1947 pennant...

147 574 108 170 38 8 12 85 22 57 37 .296 .367 .453 260 8 7 7 15
1949
1949 Major League Baseball season
-Regular season standings:-World series:-Awards and honors:-Statistical leaders:-All-Star game:-Cycles:*Wally Westlake, Pittsburgh Pirates, June 14 vs. Boston Braves*Gil Hodges, Brooklyn Dodgers, June 25 at Pittsburgh Pirates*Stan Musial, St...

Brooklyn
1949 Brooklyn Dodgers season
The Brooklyn Dodgers held off the St. Louis Cardinals to win the National League title by one game. The Dodgers lost the World Series to the New York Yankees in five games.- Offseason :...

156 593 122 203 38 12 16 124 37 86 27 .342 .432 .528 313 17 8 22 16
1950
1950 Major League Baseball season
- External links :*...

Brooklyn
1950 Brooklyn Dodgers season
The Brooklyn Dodgers struggled for much of the season, but still wound up pushing the Philadelphia Phillies to the last day of the season before falling two games short. Following the season Branch Rickey was replaced as majority owner/team president by Walter O'Malley, who promptly fired manager...

144 518 99 170 39 4 14 81 12 80 24 .328 .423 .500 259 10 5 11 11
1951
1951 Major League Baseball season
-Statistical leaders:-External links:*...

Brooklyn
1951 Brooklyn Dodgers season
The Brooklyn Dodgers led the National League for much of the season, holding a 13 game lead as late as August. However, a late season swoon and a hot streak by the New York Giants led to a classic three-game playoff series...

153 548 106 185 33 7 19 88 25 8 79 27 .338 .429 .527 289 6 9 10 7
1952
1952 Major League Baseball season
The Braves were playing their final season in Boston, before the team relocated to Milwaukee the following year, thus, ending fifty seasons without any MLB team changing addresses.-Awards and honors:*Most Valuable Player...

Brooklyn
1952 Brooklyn Dodgers season
The Brooklyn Dodgers rebounded from the heartbreaking ending of 1951 to win the National League pennant by four games over the New York Giants. However, they dropped the World Series in seven games to the New York Yankees...

149 510 104 157 17 3 19 75 24 7 106 40 .308 .440 .465 237 6 14 16 20
1953
1953 Major League Baseball season
The 1953 Major League Baseball season marked the first relocation of an MLB franchise in fifty years, as the Boston Braves moved their NL franchise to Milwaukee, where they would play their home games at the new County Stadium.- External links :*...

Brooklyn
1953 Brooklyn Dodgers season
The 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers repeated as National League champions by posting a 105-49 record, as of 2011 the best winning percentage in team history...

136 484 109 159 34 7 12 95 17 4 74 30 .329 .425 .502 243 9 7 12 6
1954
1954 Major League Baseball season
For the second consecutive season, an MLB franchise relocated, as the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Baltimore Orioles, who played their home games at Memorial Stadium.-World series:NL New York Giants vs...

Brooklyn
1954 Brooklyn Dodgers season
The Brooklyn Dodgers season was the first season for new manager Walter Alston, who replaced Chuck Dressen, who had been fired during a contract dispute...

124 386 62 120 22 4 15 59 7 3 63 20 .311 .413 .505 195 5 4a 7 13 7
1955
1955 Major League Baseball season
For the third consecutive season, a franchise changed homes as the Philadelphia Athletics moved to Kansas City, MO and played their home games at Municipal Stadium.-Statistical leaders:-External links:*...

Brooklyn
1955 Brooklyn Dodgers season
In , the Brooklyn Dodgers finally fulfilled the promise of many previous Dodger teams. Although the club had won several pennants in the past, and had won as many as 105 games in 1953, it had never won a World Series. This team finished 13.5 games ahead in the National League pennant race, leading...

105 317 51 81 6 2 8 36 12 3 61 18 .256 .378 .363 115 6 3 5b 3 8 10
1956
1956 Major League Baseball season
-Regular season standings:-World series:-Awards and honors:-Statistical leaders:-All-Star game:- Triple Crown:*Mickey Mantle, New York Yankees - Mantle won the Major League Triple Crown by leading both leagues in batting average , home runs , and runs batted in...

Brooklyn
1956 Brooklyn Dodgers season
The 1956 Brooklyn Dodgers edged out the Milwaukee Braves to win the National League title. The Dodgers again faced the New York Yankees in the World Series...

117 357 61 98 15 2 10 43 12 5 60 32 .275 .382 .412 147 9 2 2 3 9 9
Totals Brooklyn 1382 4877 947 1518 273 54 137 734 197 740 291 .311 .409 .474 2310 104 9 7 72 113 107
Career 1553 5494 1096 1736 342 67 161 867 248 .316 9 7
Sources:

a The sacrifice fly
Sacrifice fly
In baseball, a sacrifice fly is a batted ball that satisfies four criteria:* There are fewer than two outs when the ball is hit.* The ball is hit to the outfield....

 (SF) as a unique statistical category did not exist in Major League Baseball from 1940 through 1953. Any pre-1954 sacrifice flies by Robinson would be reflected in the sacrifice hit (SH) category.

b Likewise, the intentional walk
Intentional base on balls
In baseball, an intentional base on balls, usually referred to as an intentional walk and denoted in baseball scorekeeping by IBB, is a walk issued to a batter by a pitcher with the intent of removing the batter's opportunity to swing at the pitched ball...

 (IBB) category only became a unique statistic beginning in 1955. Any intentional walks issued to Robinson before that year would be reflected in the walk (BB) category.

See also



External links