Jackie Robinson is one of the most iconic figures in American baseball.
Jackie was born in the state of Georgia in 1919. Shortly after moving to California, Robinson experimented with different sports: baseball, American football, basketball and athletics. He excelled in all of those sports. When Jackie Robinson entered university, he was the first man to have four letters of recommendation for as much sport. In 1941, he moved to Hawai, where he played American football with the Honolulu Bears and joined the army.
As he faced ups and downs in the army due to social segregation, he retired from the military and became a coach for a baseball team. Subsequently, Jackie joined the Kansas City Monarchs as a starter in the Negro League, despite several years without playing baseball. At that time, African-American players were not allowed to play in MLB, a league reserved for whites. With his performances, especially at bat, he is the center of attention of recruiters. In April 1945, he tested for the Red Sox and did not follow up.
That same season, he participated in the East-West All-West Game of the Negro League where he was among the best players. His speed and success at bat attracted the attention of Branch Rickey, general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers in MLB. After an interview where Rickey warns Robinson about the difficulties he will face because of segregation, Jackie decides to accept the challenge.
To make his mark, he joined the Montreal Royals team in Ligue 2. Initially opposed to the idea of playing with a player of color, his teammates quickly changed their minds after seeing him on the training ground. Rickey tried to get him to participate in several games. There was a boycott because of Robinson's presence on the field.
The manager of the Dodgers did not lose hope. He recruited two new players of color for the following season, and he received the support of a franchise of the National Football League: the Los Angeles Rams, which announced the signing of Kenny Washington, who became the first player of color to play in the NFL.
Robinson's season with the Royals attracted people in America. On the one hand, African-Americans who have made him an example, and on the other, the white public who were opposed to his presence. During this season, Jackie led her team to the title of champion of the International League. Jackie Robinon is idolized in Montreal.
Jackie Robinson played his first MLB game on April 15, 1947.
He played against the Boston Braves. The Dodgers won 5-3. He became the first player of color in history to play in the MLB.
Throughout his career, Robinson was acclaimed for his individual athletic performances. He was known for his regularity during his time at bat. In baseball, a good hitter has an average above 0.300. With a career batting average of .311, he is one of the best batters in baseball history. In 1949, he was the best hitter with a .342 average and the best base steal, this second title is the second biggest asset of his game.
His track record is not to be outdone. He won the World Series with the Dodgers in 1955 as well as several National League championships in 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955 and 1956. He was named to the All-Star Team in 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953 and 1954. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. Upon his retirement in 1972, his jersey, the number 42 was retired from the Dodgers' roster, followed by MLB in 1997. Finally, in 1999, he was named in the Team of the Century.