Daily Archives: April 15, 2010

Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?

“How you played in yesterday’s game is all that counts.”
– Jackie Robinson

The Boston Red Sox and Minnesota Twins were the first teams to take the field today, all donning the immortal number 42 on their backs in honor of the 63rd anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first day in the big leagues. On april 15, 1947 Jackie Robinson played his first major league game with the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, which broke the color line in baseball, helped to end racial segregation and contributed significantly to the Civil Rights Movement.

Here are just some of the highlights of his amazing life and career:

1919 – Born on January 31 in Cairo, Georgia
1939 – Earned varsity letters in football, basketball, track and baseball while attending UCLA
1941 – Played semi-professional football for the Honolulu Bears in Hawaii
1942 – Drafted by the Army and assigned to duty in Kansas
1944 – Refused to move to the back of an Army bus, which led to a court-martial and, eventually, an honorable discharge
1945 – Received an offer to play professional baseball in the Negro league for an amazing salary of $400 per month
1946 – Played one season with the Montreal Royals in the Class AAA International league
1947 – Became the first black player in the major leagues
1950 – Earned the highest salary of any Dodger with a paycheck worth $35,000
1955 – Won his only championship when the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the New York Yankees in the World Series
1957 – Retired from baseball and was subsequently diagnosed with diabetes
1962 – Elected into the Baseball Hall Of Fame on the first ballot
1964 – Helped found Freedom National Bank – an African-American owned and operated bank in Harlem
1965 – Became the first black analyst for ABC’s Major League Baseball Game Of The Week telecast
1972 – Died shortly after throwing out the first pitch in Game 2 of the World Series and accepting a plaque to honor the twenty-fifth anniversary of his MLB debut