Rickey, 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). He was the first to institute the minor league farm system (1919) and integrated the major leagues by signing (1945) Jackie RobinsonRobinson, 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.
..... Click the link for more information. to a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
See biographies by M. Polner (1982) and J. Breslin (2011); H. Frommer, Rickey and Robinson (1982).
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Rickey, (Wesley) Branch(1881–1965) baseball manager/executive; born in Lucasville, Ohio. After playing four years in the majors and a ten-year career as a manager of the St. Louis Browns and Cardinals (1913–25), he became vice-president of the Cardinals (1925–42) and created a "farm system" of 32 minor-league teams that supplied countless star players for the parent major-league club. A religious man, he never played, attended or managed games on Sundays. As vice-president of the Brooklyn Dodgers (1942–50), he established the spring training complex in Vero Beach, Fla., and fulfilled his intention to break baseball's color line; in 1947 he signed Jackie Robinson to a major-league contract despite the vigorous opposition of other club owners. He was general manager (1951–55) and then chairman of the board of directors of the Pittsburgh Pirates (1956–59). He organized the aborted Continental League that led to the founding of the New York Mets in 1962. Nicknamed "the Mahatma" because of his reputation as a baseball sage, he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1967.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.