Jackie Robinson--Black History Preview
John Roosevelt Robinson, born in Cairo, Georgia in 1919, was the youngest of five children. His father was a sharecropper who abandoned the family six months after Jackie's birth. Jackie's mother, Mallie Roosevelt, moved the family to California. After Jackie had joined a gang, an older friend stated it didn't take courage to follow the crowd but it took courage and intelligence when it comes to being different,
Jackie was the first person to letter in baseball, basketball, and football, and track at UCLA in school's history. He later signed to play football for the Los Angeles Bulldogs. Jackie Robinson's stand for civil rights showed itself when he was in the Army. In 1942 he and boxer Joe Louis succeeded in opening an officer school for black soldiers during the war. He served and left the military as second lieutenant. He was court martialed while in service for not moving to the back of a bus. He won the court case due to the order's illegality.
Branch Rickey, manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, was determined to bring blacks into the major leagues. After scouts saw Robinson playing for thIn e Monarchs in the Negro American Baseball League, Rickey recruited him to the Dodger's Minor league team, the Montreal Royals, which planned to bring him into the Dodger's league. In 1947 in his first year with the Dodgers, he was named Player of the Year. Though some people were delighted with Robinson's achievements, others issued death threats against him. He spent ten years with the Dodgers. He won the National League championship six times He maintained a batting average of .311 and stole home nineteen times.
He played in the World Series six times. He won the title of Most Valuable Player in 1949 and in 1955 he helped the team win the World Series. During his years and afterwards, he fought to end racial injustice. He worked with the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Southern Christian Leadership council to open doors of opportunity for other blacks. In 1962, in his first year of eligibility, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.