“The measure of life is not what life accomplishes but rather… the impact that life has on others” quote from Jackie Robinson.
His legacy changed many lives. Jackie Robinson was one of the greatest baseball players of all time and his accomplishments led to increased equality for the blacks. He was born on January 31st, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia (Wikipedia.org).
He was the youngest born of 5 children. He ended up only living there for a short amount of time because his father left them. Then he moved to Pasadena, California. His family was very poor. They lived in a under average house in a neighborhood. Robinson joined a neighborhood gang because he was discluded from all activities. After graduating from his previous high school, he enrolled at John Muir High School.
He played several sports at varsity level and lettered in football, basketball, track, and baseball. After graduating he joined Pasadena Junior college. He continued playing the same sports very well. After that he enrolled at UCLA. He became the schools first athlete to letter in 4 sports. In track and field he won the 1940 NCAA championship in the long jump at 24 ft 10.25 inches (Wikipedia.org).
Surprisingly Robinsons worst sport at UCLA was baseball. He hit a .097 in his only season. He left UCLA right before graduation to follow his football career, but after the attack on Pearl Harbor his football career was over.
In 1942, Robinson was drafted into war. In january 1943 he was commissioned 2nd lieutenant. An event on July 6, 1944 derailed his his military career. He never went to fight in a battle. After the military, he joined Sam Huston College. In 1945 Robinson played professional baseball in the negro leagues. He accepted a contract for $400 per month. He played very well for the Monarchs, but he did not have a good experience.
The Boston Red Sox held a tryout for Robinson and other black players on April 16th, but they were not serious about having a black man on their team. Robinson left the tryout humiliated. There were other teams that were actually serious about having a black ballplayer on their team. Branch Ricky agreed to sign Robinson to the Royals. On October 23rd, it was publicly announced that Robinson would be assigned to the Royals for the 1946 season (Wikipedia.
org). On March 17th, 1946 Robinson played his first game as a Royal against the teams parent team the Dodgers. He became the first black player to play for a minor league team since the 1880’s. In 1947, six days before the start of the season the Dodgers called Robinson up to the major leagues (wikipedia.
org). On April 5th 1947, Robinson played his first game in the major leagues before a crowd of 26,623 spectators an 14,000 of them were black. He broke the color line.
The Dodgers won 5-3. Black fans began watching the Dodgers abandoning their negro leagues. He was a great ballplayer, but there was a lot of tension. Some of his teammates refused to play by his side.
Fans and other players said many racist things to him. Some of his teammates began defending Robinson. The national league president told everyone that anyone who strikes against him will be suspended.
Robinson played 151 games that season. He had a batting average of .297, and he had 175 hits. His astonishing performance earned him the rookie of the year award in 1947. He had 133 double plays in the 1950 season which made the record.
He finished the year with 99 runs scored a .378 batting average. The only big win he had was the 1955 world series against their rivals the New York Yankees. Robinson decided to end his baseball career after the 1956 season. Robinsons career in the major league ended about 60 years of segregation in professional baseball.
His breaking of the color line and career success showed that the fight for equality was simple. Jackie Robinson was one of the greatest baseball players of all time and his accomplishments led to increased equality for the blacks