Breaking Baseball Barriers
Heroes of Baseball
Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in Major League baseball after the start of segregation in 1889. He was a very talented baseball player who just happened to be black. In the 1940’s segregation was a common thing. Jackie Robinson began playing in the Negro league after his discharge from the US army from refusing to sit on the back of a bus during training. Branch Rickey, a Vice President for the Brooklyn chose Jackie Robinson to integrate Major League baseball in 1946. Jackie Robinson played on the Dodger’s (all white) minor league team Montreal Royals. Being the first black player to play in Minor League baseball was tough on Jackie Robinson. He was an activist and did not like racism and the death threats his family received from baseball fans. His brother Rickey made Jackie promise not to fight back against the racism. He knew it would only cause more trouble for the family.
Jackie Robinson played his first season for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. By the end of the season, Jackie Robinson was rookie of the year for the National League. He batted .296 with 12 homers, 48 RBS’s, 29 steals, and 125 runs scored. Jackie Robinson played through the 1956 season. He played his whole career with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jackie Robinson broke through the race barrier at a horrible time in American history. Jackie Robinson won one World Championship with the Dodgers in 1955. They defeated the New York Yankees. This was the only championship Jackie Robinson earned in the Major Leagues. Jackie Robinson was a great champion for other African American ballplayers. Because of Jackie Robinson, other African American ballplayers made the trip up into Major League baseball. Now Major League baseball is played without prejudice between black and white men.
Jackie Robinson left Major League baseball in 1957. He was diagnosed with diabetes that same year. In 1962, He was unanimously inducted into the Hall of Fame. Jackie Robinson was the first black man to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Jackie Robinson was greatly affected by his disease. Diabetes was tearing his body up. There were not any good treatments for the diabetes in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Jackie Robinson died young in 1972. He was only fifty-three years old. Jackie Robinson was a great man in the United States of America. He broke the color barrier in Major League baseball. Jackie Robinson was one of the true heroes of baseball.