Gavin Stell and Josh Cox
Jackie Robinson's Early Life
Jack Roosevelt Robinson (His real name) was born on January 31, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia. He was the youngest of 5 children, and the was raised in relative poverty by his single mother. He went to John Muir High school. He was and amazing athlete and played four sports which were football, baseball, track, and basketball. He was the named the most valuable player in the region in 1938.
Breaking The Color Barrier!
After being discharged from the army in 1944,He began playing baseball professionally. At this point in time every sport was segregated, and African- American and whites played in separated leagues. Robinson then began playing in the Negro Leagues, then he was chosen by the Brooklyn Dodgers to help integrate to the major league baseball.
Continuation of Breaking The Color Barrier!
Robinson later moved to Florida to begin spring training with the Royals, and played his first game in Ebbets Field for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, therefore becoming the first black player to compete in the major leagues. He was Made fun of for being African- American, for example, racial slurs, him and his family received threats, etc. He lead the international league with a .349 batting average and a .985 fielding percentage. His successful year led to his promotion with the Dodgers, and subsequently, his history-making designation as the first African-American player in Major League Baseball.
In his 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 selected as Rookie of the Year. He continued to wow fans and critics alike with impressive feats, such as an outstanding .342 batting average during the 1949 season. He led in stolen bases that year and earned the National League's Most Valuable Player ( MVP ) Award.
Inspiration to African- American Athletes
Robinson also became a vocal champion for African-American athletes, civil rights, and other social and political causes. In 1952, he publicly called out the Yankees as a racist organization for not having broken the color barrier five years after he began playing with the Dodgers. In his decade-long career with the Dodgers, Robinson and his team won the National League pennant several times. Finally, in 1955, he helped them achieve the ultimate victory: the World Series. After failing before in four other series match-ups, the Dodgers beat the New York Yankees. He ended his career with a .311 batting average.
Jackie Robinson's Legacy
He served on the board of the NAACP until 1967 and 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. He died from heart problems and diabetes complications on October 24, 1972, in Stamford, Connecticut.