If you believe that there are not some “systemic” racial elements that were built into the system over the years, recent years, then you don’t know the story of Jackie Robinson – and when this happened!
Who: Jackie Robinson
- Born January 31, 1919
- Born in Cairo, Georiga
- Parents were sharecroppers
- Attended, never graduated, the Univerity of California, Los Angeles
- The first athlete to letter in four varsity sports — baseball, basketball, football, and track 
- Joined the Army in 1942-1945, Second Lt.
- Court-martialed in 1944 for protesting racial discrimination
- Honorably discharged from the Army
- 1946 – Married Rachel Isum, a nursing student at UCLA
- Three children, Jackie Jr., Sharon, and David
- “The United States Post Office honored Robinson by making him the subject of a commemorative postage stamp.” 
- UCLA’s Hall of Fame on June 10, 1984
- A Civil Rights activist
- Died, October 24, 1972 — age 53
When: April 15, 1947
Where: Ebbets Field
What: Jackie Robinson was the first African American player in Major League Baseball history to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
- Played for the Negro American League.
- Played for a Canadian minor league, the Montreal Royals. 
- Called to the major league in 1947, as an infielder and outfielder
- Jackie Robinson “broke the color barrier” — after years of segregated baseball teams.
- Rookie of the year 
- 1949 MVP & lead batting champ 
- Play on the National League All-Star Team 1949-1954 
- “Jim Crow” laws were still in effect, and he had to use separate hotels and restaurants when playing in the South. 
- Retired in 1957
- Baseball Hall of Fame – 1962 — his first year of eligibility
- April 15, 1997 — Jackie Robinson’s jersey, #42, was retired by Bud Selig, commissioner of the MLB.
- Jackie Robinson’s jersey was the first-ever number retired by MLB.
- A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.
- I’m not concerned with your liking or disliking me… All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.
- Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.
- There’s not an American in this country free until every one of us is free.
- I do not believe that every person, in every walk of life, can succeed in spite of any handicap. That would be perfection. But I do believe that what I was able to attain came to be because we put behind us (no matter how slowly) the dogmas of the past: to discover the truth of today; and perhaps the greatness of tomorrow.
Next time I go to a movie and see a picture of a little ordinary girl become a great star… I’ll believe it. And whenever I hear my wife read fairy tales to my little boy, I’ll listen. I know now that dreams do come true.
At the beginning of the World Series of 1947, I experienced a completely new emotion when the National Anthem was played. This time, I thought, it is being played for me, as much as for anyone else.
- The many of us who attain what we may and forget those who help us along the line we’ve got to remember that there are so many others to pull along the way. The farther they go, the further we all go.
Key Illustrative Thoughts:
- respecter of person
- God’s will
- it’s a game
- winning / losing
(include whatever detail you find useful)
. . . Now listen to what Jackie Robinson said about that day . . .
“At the beginning of the World Series of 1947, I experienced a completely new emotion when the National Anthem was played. This time, I thought, it is being played for me, as much as for anyone else.”
That is how I felt after I was saved, and heard the Gospel preached to others for the first time! . . . .
Other Information & Links:
- Broke the color barrier in major league baseball in 1947 by becoming the first African-American player.
- Named National League Rookie of the Year in 1947.
- Led the National League in stolen bases in 1947 and 1949.
- Led second basemen in double plays 1949, 1950, 1951 and 1952.
- Selected as the National League MVP in 1949
- Won the 1949 batting title with a .342.
- National League All-Star Team, 1949-1954.
- Had a career batting average of .311 with the Dodgers, .333 in All-Star games
- Led the Dodgers to six World Series and one World Series Championship in a 10-year span.
- Starred in “The Jackie Robinson Story” in 1950.
- Opened a men’s apparel store on 125th street in Harlem from 1952-1958.
- Signed a contract with WNBC and WNBT to serve as Director of Community Activities in 1952.
- Became Vice President of Chock Full O’Nuts in 1957.
- Served in numerous campaigns and on the board of directors for the NAACP from 1957-1967.
- Established the Jackie Robinson Construction Company in 1970 to build housing for families with low incomes.
- Author of autobiography “I Never Had It Made.”