Going, going gone! That is the ballgame folks, it was a close game, but it ended with a walk-off homerun from the big number forty-two, which is worn by Jackie Robinson. This gave the Brooklyn Dodgers a five to four win over the New York Yankees. Jackie Robinson is a prime example of someone who has taken a journey because of the challenges he faced in his life. Jackie Robinson was an African American baseball player in the 1940s and 50s. He is famous not just because he was a great baseball player, but also because he helped to get rid of the color barrier in professional baseball. Jackie Robinson, a famous Brooklyn Dodgers player, overcame being an African American from a poor family to become the first black man to play in the all-white league.
Jackie Robinson was born into a very poor family in the city of Cairo, Georgia on January 31, 1919. His mother was Mallie Robinson and his father was Jerry Robinson. When Jackie was only 6 months old, his father left and his mother moved the family from Cairo, Georgia to the all-white neighborhood of Pasadena, California. As a young boy, Jackie grew up surrounded by white kids. He was segregated as a young child and was made fun of for being different. From a very young age his mother taught him to stand up for his rights, to never back down, to respect himself, and to demand respect from others too. Also he learned that being good at sports helped him make friends with the other white kids. He attended Washington Junior High School (WJHS) in his early and teenage years. Once he graduated from WJHS, he went on to attend John Muir High School (JMHS), where he started playing four sports: football, baseball, basketball, and track. After graduating from JMHS, he went on to attend Pasadena Junior College, where he got a scholarship for all four sports. He later went on to attend UCLA, where he became the first person to receive varsity letters in four different sports.
(Anderson, Kevin, and Brandon Moser).
Right before he graduated, he was forced to leave early due to financial problems. After he left UCLA, he moved to Honolulu, Hawaii. There, he played semi-pro football for the Honolulu Bears. His season with the Bears was cut short when the United States entered World War II. He served as a second lieutenant from 1942 to 1944 for the United States Army. He never saw any action, but during boot camp in 1944, he refused to move to the back of a segregated bus. As a result he ended up getting arrested and court-martialed. (Channel, History). Later on, in November of 1944, he was honorably discharged from the army.
After Jackie was discharged from the Army, he started playing baseball again. He was picked up by an all-black team in Kansas City called the Kansas City Monarchs. In 1945, Jackie played 47 games at shortstop, where he had a batting average of .387. This is an outstanding statistic for a professional baseball player. In 1945 he was elected to play short stop in the Negro League All-Star Game. He went to bat five times and didn't get a hit at any of his at-bats. (Jackie Robinson & The 1945 Kansas City Monarchs - I-70 Baseball). During the 1945 season, a scout for the Brooklyn Dodgers, an all-white MLB team, came and saw him play.
The scout, Branch Rickey was the president of the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was looking for someone with a lot of talent who could help break the color barrier, and found that player in Jackie Robinson. Once he watched Jackie play for a while, Branch set up a meeting with Jackie, where he signed Jackie to the Dodgers farm team, the Montreal Royals, in 1946. Jackie then moved to Florida to go through spring training with the Royals. (Baseball and Jackie Robinson). When the baseball season started, Jackie played for the Royals for one season. He was then promoted to play for the Dodgers.
Jackie got the big break that he was looking for, six days before the season started in 1947, which was getting to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was called up to play first base; his starting salary was $600. In his major-league debut, which was on April 15, 1947 against the Boston Braves, he didn't get a hit, but he did get walked and later scored. Branch Rickey then stated that when Jackie Robinson asked, “If he was looking for a Negro who is afraid to fight back.” Branch replied with, “Someone with guts enough to not fight back.” (Jackie Robinson Biography Jackie Robinson Biography). Jackie continued to play for the Dodgers even though he faced racial discrimination from both other teams and also his own teammates. One of the most notable cases of racism was when fans were yelling racial slurs at him. The Dodgers shortstop and captain, Pee Wee Reese, came out of the dugout and put his arm around Jackie to symbolize that they accepted Jackie and he wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. Jackie played for the Dodgers for ten years and led them to six pennant championships and one World Series championship. On December 13, 1956, the Dodgers traded Jackie to their moral enemies, the New York Giants; however neither team knew that he planned to retire on January 8, 1957, before he even played a game with the New York Giants.
After Jackie retired from baseball, he became the Vice-President of Personal Relations with the small, but growing, Chock Full O’ Nuts, a fast food and chain restaurant. This made him the first black man to ever become the vice-president of a business of that size. He served as the vice-president for the company from the early 1957s to when he resigned to go work with Governor Rockefeller in February of 1964. (I NEVER HAD IT MADE). He only worked for Rockefeller for a short time before he quit because he didn't like how business was handled. After he quit working with Rockefeller, he started to stay at home with his wife, Rachel Islam Robinson and their three kids, Jackie Jr., David, and Sharon. In 1962 he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, where he will always be remembered as an amazing athlete and the first black baseball player in the MLB. Jackie Robinson died on October 24, 1974 in North Stamford, Connecticut from heart problems and diabetes. Later in 1974, the Dodgers retire the number forty two, but in 1997, on the fiftieth anniversary of Jackie’s first game, the entire Major League of Baseball retired the number forty two. (Bodley , Hal).
Jackie Robinson will forever be remembered as one of, if not the greatest, baseball players ever. He will be remember not only because he was a phenomenal athlete, but also because he had to go through many hard times and struggles to become the first black man to play in an all-white league. He will always be remembered for breaking down the color barrier in the MLB. These are some of the reasons why Jackie Robinson exhibited a great journey in his life. He never gave up, kept on fighting when no one else believed in him, and he didn't let people tell him what he could and could not do. This is why I believe that Jackie Robinson was and still is the best baseball player to ever play in the MLB.
Anderson, Kevin, and Brandon Moser. "Jackie Robinson - Early Life." Jackie Robinson - Early Life. Web. 12 Mar. 2015.
"Baseball and Jackie Robinson." - Baseball, the Color Line, and Jackie Robinson (American Memory from the Library of Congress). Ed. Liberty Congress. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.
Bodley, Hal. "Retiring No. 42 One of Baseball's Greatest Moments." Major League Baseball. MLB Publisher, 30 June 2014. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.
Channel, History. "Jackie Robinson Breaks Major League Color Barrier." History.com. A&E Television Networks, 1 Jan. 2015. Web. 13 Mar. 2015.