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The contribution Robinson made to Major League Baseball will always be cherished. Every major league team observes Jackie Robinson Day on April 15 each year to commemorate the day he broke the color barrier in baseball by becoming the first African-American player to play in either the American or National leagues in the 20th century.

Robinson’s Personal Life

On January 31, 1919, Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia. The youngest of five kids, he was young. Soon after Jackie was born, his father abandoned the family, and Jackie never saw him again. He was reared by his mother, Millie, and his three brothers and one sister.

After Jackie was born, the family relocated to Pasadena, California, around a year later. Jackie watched his elder siblings succeed in sports there as he grew up. At the 1936 Olympics, his brother Mack, a track standout, took home a silver medal in the 200-meter dash.

Jackie attended UCLA for college, where he excelled in basketball, football, baseball, and track. He was the first UCLA athlete to receive varsity letters in all four sports. In the long jump, he was the NCAA champion as well.

Robinson played professional football after graduating from college, but World War II's outbreak quickly ended his career. He was enlisted in the military. Jackie met renowned boxing champion Joe Lewis, at basic training, and they grew close. Robinson attended officer training school with the assistance of Joe.

Jackie was deployed to Fort Hood, Texas, to join the 761st Tank Battalion after completing his officer training. Because they were not permitted to serve alongside white soldiers, this battalion was exclusively made up of African-American soldiers.

                             

 

His Career

Early in 1945, the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League signed Jackie Robinson, who had a successful season, hitting.387.

Branch Rickey, an executive for the Brooklyn Dodgers, was scouting the Negro Leagues at the time to find players who had not only the talent but also the temperament to handle the pressures of integrating Major League Baseball.

In August 1945, Rickey interviewed several baseball players before selecting Robinson to join the Royals, a Dodgers feeder team in Montreal.

His 1947 Dodgers debut attracted much attention, but not all favorable. Robinson soon established himself as a player, although opponents' teams and supporters objected to his skin tone.

Robinson would go on to hit.311 throughout a 10-year career, despite being signed by the Dodgers at the comparatively advanced age of 28. In 1949, when he led the National League in batting with a.342 average, most stolen bases (37), and a career-high 124 RBI, he earned the First and Most Valuable Player Award for the first time ever given to a player of color. From 1949 to 1954, Robinson was an All-Star each year.

In 1955, he guided Brooklyn to a World Series victory over the New York Yankees.

Robinson worked as a sportscaster and a business executive at Chock full o'Nuts and was involved in the NAACP and other civil rights organizations after leaving the Dodgers.

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