“I don’t think it matters what I believe, only what I do.”
Jackie Robinson did a lot for baseball both on and off the field. He was a talented athlete as well as a civil rights leader. Without his contribution to baseball and his fight for equality, we would not have modern day baseball.
Robinson was the first African American player to play baseball in the major leagues. In 1947, he was called up to play for the Brooklynn Dodgers. He played from 1947 to 1956 with the boys in blue.
Although brief, Jackie Robinson’s playing career has multiple highlights and achievements. In 1947, he was the Rookie Of The Year and a couple years later, he won the National League Most Valuable Player award. He was the first African American born player to win the MVP award.
In addition to these personal achievements, Jackie Robinson played in six World Series, mostly against the crosstown rival Yankees.
Robinson helped the Dodgers win their very first and only World Series Championship in Brooklynn.
After retiring in 1956, Jackie Robinson spent the rest of his life fighting for equality and civil rights. In 1962, Robinson was elected to the Major League Baseball Hall Of Fame with 77.5% of the vote. It was his first time on the ballot.
Jackie Robinson passed away 10 years later in 1972. After his death, Robinson was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom award.
25 years later, MLB announced that they would be retiring Jackie Robinson’s number “42” across baseball. He was the first player in baseball to have this honor and was the first player in all of sports to have a number universally retired.
On April 15th, 2004, MLB also named this day to be “Jackie Robinson Day”. All players, regardless of their team and skin color would wear the number “42” recognizing the impact that Jackie had on baseball.
I wish that we could be celebrating today by going to a Dodger game and seeing the Dodgers win. Maybe next year we will have that opportunity.