News · “Jackie Robinson Day”


Jackie Robinson Day April 15th.  Jack Robinson was born on January 31, 1919, was an American professional baseball player who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when he started at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

During his 10 – year career, Robinson won Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, was an ALL-STAR for six consecutive seasons from 1949 through 1954, and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949-the first black player so honored. He also won a World Championship with the Dodgers in 1955.

In 1997, Major League Baseball retired his uniform number 42 across all major league teams; he was the first professional athlete in any sport to earn this honor. MLB also adopted a new annual tradition, “Jackie Robinson Day”, for the first time on April 15, 2004, on which every player on every team wears No. 42.

Robinson’s character, and his talent challenged the traditional basis of segregation that had then marked many other aspects of American life. He influenced the culture of and contributed significantly the civil rights movement. Robinson also was the first black television analyst in Major League Baseball, and the first vice president of a major American corporation. In the 1960s, Jack helped establish the Freedom National Bank, an African-American owned financial institution based in Harlem. After his death in 1972, Robinson was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of his achievements on and off the field.

 

Contributed by:

Milt Lee

Director of Community & K-12 Athletics