Changing Baseball

Jackie Robinson and his life journey

Play Ball!

On April 15, 1947 Jackie Robinson stepped onto Ebbets Field and made history. He didn't hit a home run and he didn't catch any game changing balls. Just him being there was truly amazing. He was the first African American play to play baseball in the white league. All he had to do was wear his Dodgers uniform and he did something no African american had done before.

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Early Life

Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born on January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia. When he was six months old his father left the family with his 4 siblings (Mack Robinson, Willa Mae Robinson-only sister-, Edgar Robinson, and Frank Robinson) and his mother. His mother with the help of her niece bought a house in Pasadena California . He was the youngest of the five children . The family was relatively poor but their spirits were not. While in Florida he was racially abused but over time learned to have patience and made friends with white children and was very athletic.


Robinson's older brother, Matthew(Mack) Robinson, inspired Jackie to pursue his talent and love for athletics. At the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin Matthew won a silver medal in the 200-meter dash. He finished just behind Jesse Owens.

Jackie & Mack

Jackie and Mack are brothers but have differences and similarities. Mack was born when his father was still around. This may have influenced the sports he liked . Mack enjoyed running but in junior college the coach did not believe in him. He didn't have any money to go to the try outs for the Olympics but gained some for caring business man.On he other hand Jackie never really met his father. Jackie enjoyed many sports especially baseball. and broke some of his brothers records at school.But Jackie and Mack both cared for each other and were both very competitive. Mack once said ''There was no one more competitive than Jackie,'' he said. ''No one could tell him he couldn't do something he wanted to do. No man was more appropriate for the tough assignment he received.''. The brothers were also alike because they were both successful.Mack Robinson got into the Olympics and finished just behind Jesse Owens but wasn't appropriated as much as his brother. Jackie became success full in baseball and was the first African American person to compete in the white legues
1936 olympics 200m

A Swinging Education

He attended John Muir High School and Pasadena Junior College, where he was an amazing athlete and played four sports. Football, basketball, track, and baseball. He actually did better in Track ,Football, and Basketball than in baseball. During his time at UCLA he met Rachel Isum, his future wife. Also While at UCLA he became the university's first student to become a varsity player in 4 sports. In 1941,although he was a great athlete, Robinson had to leave UCLA just shy of graduation because of the family's financial problems.

In the Army

After college, He moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he played football for the semi-professional Honolulu Bears. His season with the Bears was cut short when the United States entered into World War II.From 1942 to 1944, Robinson served in the United States Army. In 1944 in Fort Hood, Texas, during boot camp Robinson was arrested and had to go to court when he didn't move to the back of a segregated bus when the bus driver ordered him to. Jackie's excellent reputation, friends and black newspapers told people of the injustice and he was acquitted of the charges and got an honorably discharged.

Sliding into the Big Leagues

After leaving the Army in 1944, Robinson began to play baseball professionally. At the time, the sport was segregated, and African-Americans and whites played in different leagues. Because baseball was segregated Robinson began playing in the Negro Leagues. He was soon chosen by Branch Rickey-president of the Brooklyn Dodgers-to play for his team, to help integrate major league baseball. He joined the all-white Montreal Royals-a farm team for the Brooklyn Dodgers-in 1946. Then, Robinson moved to Florida to begin spring training with the Royals. He played his first game in Ebbets Field for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, and became the first black player to compete in the major leagues.

Jackie Hits Hardships

Rickey knew it would be hard for Jackie to be in the Major leagues. He would be face much racial abuse. Even some of his new teammates didn't want an African-American on their team. People in the crowds sometimes jeered at Robinson, and he and his family received threats. But he despite the dreadful threats and jeers he had become quite good at ignoring these jeers and just let his talent speak for its self.

Robinson; the Hollywood Star

Robinson became one of the big screen’s first black leading men when he starred as himself in the 1950 Hollywood film called “The Jackie Robinson Story.”The movie made some money and got good reviews. Robinson can hit a home run when it comes to films!

Jackie's Althletic Achievments

Jackie Robinson was truly a talented player and won many awards. In Jackie's first year, he hit 12 home runs and helped the Dodgers win the National League pennant. That year, Robinson led the National League in stolen bases and was chosen as Rookie of the Year. During the 1949 season. he had a .342 batting average and he earned the National League's Most Valuable Player Award.

Later Life and Impressions

Jackie Robinson retired shortly after getting traded to the New York Giants, on January 5, 1957.After baseball, Robinson continued his work as an activist for social change. He was the first African-American to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. In 1972, the Dodgers retired his uniform number of 42.In his later years, Robinson continued to lobby for greater integration in sports. He died from heart problems and diabetes complications on October 24, 1972, in Stamford, Connecticut. Robinson was truly an amazing athlete and person and inspired people like; Satchel Paige, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron. Jackie Robinson truly had a good impression on this world and changed baseball forever.