For this week of Black History Year, we are going to celebrate and commemorate an important athlete who not only set the pathway for his sports but for many other sports in our world.
Last Monday may have seemed like a regular day for anyone, but for the MLB and many other people, April 15th was a special day. This day is significant to the one and only Jackie Robinson.
Jackie was born on January 31st, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia. He was raised by his single mother who also raised four of his siblings. Jackie was a four-sport athlete playing baseball, basketball, football, and track. He went on to UCLA where he was named to the All American football team. He was then forced to leave because he did not have any money. Being the person that he is, he decided to join the Army. He reached the second lieutenant but was forced to leave because of racial discrimination.
This was a good thing for him because after this he was able to pursue his baseball career. In 1945 he played for the Negro League, but in 1947 he was offered a spot for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson broke the color barrier and this caused a lot of uproar in MLB. During his rookie year, he was amazing. He was eventually named NL’s most valuable player of the year.
Jackie married Rachel Isum in 1946, and she was very supportive in his life since the time in his college years. This year marked 100 years since his birth. Robinson will be acknowledged as someone who stood defiantly against those who would work against racial equality and acknowledged the profound influence of one man’s life on the American culture.
Photo By: Hulton Archive / Getty Images