Breaking down the Barrier.
Jackie Robinson was an African American, that broke down the color barrier, that was set in place by MLB managers. Born on January 31, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia growing up Robinson grew up in a poor family, with a single mother and 4 other siblings. Jackie was an exceptional athlete from the start of his athletic career, winning MVP in baseball in his region in 1938. He also was the first athlete at The University of California, Los Angeles, to be receive a varsity letter in 4 different sports, Football, Basketball, Track and Baseball. Just before graduation Robinson was forced to leave UCLA, due to financial hardships, and played football for the Honolulu Bears. During his first season with the Bears, WWII started and Robinson joined the U.S. Army and served two years, but was later honorably discharged for refusing to give his seat up on a bus.
Shortly after his discharge from the U.S. Army, Robinson began playing baseball. He started his baseball career in the negro league until, Branch Ricky, manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers at the time, chose him to help the integration of Major League Baseball. Starting his career during spring training with the Montreal Royals, and became the first African American to play in the MLB. Ricky advised Robinson not to fight back against racism just to play baseball and despite all the hardships of racism that Jackie had to overcome, he lead the International League in batting average (.349) and fielding percentage (.985). In his first year he led the league in stolen bases and even was nominated rookie of the year. And during the 1949 season, Jackie again led the league in stolen bases and was awarded the MVP of the MLB. He played 10 years in the big leagues before retiring. Jackie Robinson was not only the first African American baseball player in the MLB, he was also the first African American to get into the Hall of Fame.
Jackie turned the tables in the MLB and allowed for many exceptional African American baseball players to play the game, such as Satchel Paige, Hank Aaron, and Willie Mays. During is career he became a national hero for African American baseball players nation wide. He gave blacks the hope of one day being able to play in the MLB, and he also helped to slowly put a stop to racial discrimination. Jackie did all this even while he had many hardships due to racism in his career, such as fans booing and taunting him during games, especially away games. Even after his career he helped fight segregation, through helping open Freedom bank, an all black owned bank, and serving on the NAACP board.
The Dodgers retired Jackie's number in 1972.
Jackie held the record for stealing home, he did so 19 times in his career. And led the league in total stolen bases as a rookie.
Pee Wee and Jackie
Pee Wee Reese was the captain of the Dodgers, and stood up for Jackie through all the racial discrimination.