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Branch Rickey's Contribution To Baseball

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Branch Rickey started his baseball career as just a mediocre player at best. (Baseball Hall of Fame) He may not have been the best of players, but he definitely made a huge impact on baseball. Branch Rickey was one of the most important and influential people in forming and shaping the way baseball is today. Branch Rickey created the minor league farm club system, which today gives young players the opportunity to develop and enhance the skills they need to be great. Branch Rickey’s most important contribution to baseball was when he signed Jackie Robinson. Branch Rickey took it as his responsibility to get African Americans their right to play ball in the Major Leagues. The signing of Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball and gave African Americans the right to play baseball in the Major Leagues.
Wesley Branch Rickey, known as Branch Rickey was born in Stockdale, Ohio in 1881. He grew up in a strict religious family. At the age of 19 Branch Rickey enrolled at Ohio Wesleyan University. Branch Rickey paid for his college education by playing both semi-professional baseball and football. After graduating in 1904, he joined a baseball team in the Texas League. Later that season Rickey was picked up by the Cincinnati Reds of the National League. His time with the team was brief. The Reds wanted to play on Sundays, but Rickey refused because his religion was more important to him. A few years later in 1906, Rickey was signed by the St. Louis Browns. Branch Rickey was the St. Louis Browns catcher for only a year before he was replaced behind the plate. (Biography.com)
His next opportunity came with the New York Highlanders. Again this opportunity did not last long. In one game he se...

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...ontract. (Smithsonian) Even though Branch Rickey was no longer with the Dodgers as he had moved on to the Pittsburgh Pirates, he was still great friends with Jackie Robinson and they wrote each other letters often. Their friendship was truly unbreakable.
After leaving the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey became the General Manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. While he was there he drafted another great future hall of famer, Roberto Clemente. He also added a few more things to help make baseball what it is today, including creating spring training facilities, batting cages, pitching machines, and being the first person to use statistical analysis in baseball. (CBC) After a very successful career, Branch Rickey died in Columbia, Missouri on December 09, 1965. Baseball would not be the great sport it is today without Branch Rickey’s important contributions.
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