Robinson, Jackie

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Robinson, Jackie

(Jack Roosevelt Robinson), 1919–72, American baseball player, the first African-American player in the modern major leagues, b. Cairo, Ga. He grew up in Pasadena, Calif., where he became an outstanding athlete in high school and junior college. While attending (1939–41) the Univ. of California at Los Angeles, he established a wide reputation in baseball, basketball, football, and track.

Robinson left college to support his mother, but in 1941 played professional football with the Los Angeles Bulldogs of the Pacific Coast League. He entered the army in World War II and was discharged as a lieutenant in 1945. In Oct., 1945, Branch RickeyRickey, Branch,
1881–1965, American baseball executive, b. Stockdale, Ohio. As manager or executive, he was with the St. Louis Browns (1913–15), the St. Louis Cardinals (1917–42), the Brooklyn Dodgers (1943–50), and the Pittsburgh Pirates (1950–59).
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, then president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, signed Robinson to play for the Montreal Royals, a Brooklyn farm club in the International League. Despite several incidents in spring training in the South and many inconveniences during the season, Robinson—the first African-American ballplayer in that league—excelled as a second baseman and won the league batting crown.

In 1947 precedent was shattered when Robinson was brought up to the Brooklyn club. African Americans had not played in big-league competition in the 20th cent., but resistance dwindled as Robinson excelled. In 1949 he won the National League batting crown, hitting .342, and was named the NL's most valuable player. Robinson played his entire career (1947–56) with Brooklyn, where he set fielding and batting records and gained a reputation for base stealing. Other African Americans began playing in the major leagues soon after his debut. In 1962 Robinson became the first African American to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.


See his autobiography (1972); J. Tygiel, Baseball's Great Experiment (1983) and Extra Bases (2002); A. Rampersad, Jackie Robinson (1997); S. Simon, Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball (2002); J. Eig, Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season (2007).

Robinson, Jackie

(1919–1972) professional American baseball player; first Negro to play in the major leagues. [Am. Sports: NCE, 2335]
See: Firsts

Robinson, (Jack Roosevelt) Jackie

(1919–72) baseball player; born in Cairo, Ga. A four-sport star at the University of California: Los Angeles (UCLA), he became the first African-American baseball player in the modern era major leagues when he was brought up as an infielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. His indomitable personality and competitive nature served him admirably during the first difficult years with the Dodgers, where he was a frequent target of beanballs and the racial epithets of opposing players and fans alike. An excellent fielder, clutch hitter, and base runner, he led the Dodgers to six National League championships and their first ever World Series victory in 1955. During his ten-year career (1947–56), he won the National League batting title with an average of .342 in 1949 and was named the league's Most Valuable Player. After retiring from baseball he was an active spokesperson for civil rights, and in 1962 he was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame.
References in periodicals archive ?
Tonight, we're honoring Jackie and his widow, Rachel, and the Jackie Robinson Foundation with a Jackie Robinson Night at Dodger Stadium.
Special Celebration in Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball will host a special celebration of Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium in LA.
The Jackie Robinson Foundation, named for the baseball great who broke baseball's color barrier almost 60 years ago, was established by Rachel Robinson, Jackie's wife, in 1973.
April 15 has become Jackie Robinson Day in the majors.
Also attending the event will be former Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar Jade Simmons.
We are very pleased that we will be able to offer more recreational opportunities for the Jackie Robinson Park area,'' said Sheila Ortega, county parks department spokeswoman.
Jackie Robinson Day is one of the first programs to result from The Commissioner's Initiative: Major League Baseball in the 21st Century.
The Stars Pitch for Education gives us a chance to not only raise funds for our education and leadership development program but also offers an outstanding opportunity to introduce a national audience to the mission of the Foundation," said Della Britton Baeza, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Jackie Robinson Foundation.
The new PowerUP center at the Harlem YMCA's Jackie Robinson Youth Center will have 20 new computers, each with the AOL High Speed Broadband service over Time Warner Cable's high-speed cable.
The evening will pay tribute to Don Newcombe and Suzanne de Passe, whose dynamic and enthusiastic commitment to improving the human condition mirror the spirit of Jackie Robinson, while raising funds for The Jackie Robinson Foundation's Education and Leadership Development Program.
In 1945, at age 19, I was a premed sophomore at Long Island University, and I wondered how Jackie Robinson would endure playing a game loaded with whites of the Southern persuasion.
1947 Jackie Robinson becomes first African-American in major-league baseball