Baseball came of age in the 1920s when Babe Ruth who passed away in 1948 came into the spotlight and led the power house New York Yankees to several World Series titles. Ruth became a national hero because, his strength of his home runs. After that almost every team had great players. One person a lot of people had their eyes on was someone by the name of Jackie Robinson. The reason many people had their eyes on him was, because he was the first African-American player to play in the Major Leagues.
It was Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player in the major league. Many people would agree Jackie was one of the best players to ever swing a bat. However, he faced many difficulties on his journey to becoming a professional baseball player. Without Jackie playing in the pros, baseball and civil rights wouldn’t be the way it is today. Baseball may have taken a long time to not be made up of mainly white players.
They wanted the thrill of playing in the Majors. In 1947 Jackie was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers. He became their second baseman. In his first game he became known as the first black man to play with the whites. He had an excellent career with the Dodgers.
Babe Ruth During the roaring twenties, there were many outstanding baseball players. One of the best outstanding baseball players of all times was Babe Ruth. Babe Ruth was born on February 6, 1895, on the outskirts of Baltimore, Maryland. He was the son of a saloonkeeper, George Herman Ruth, Sr. At age seven he was placed in the St. Mary’s Industrial School for boys because his parents couldn’t control him anymore. After twelve years of basically being locked up he was released in 1914 so that he could play professional baseball.
Because of that he was named Rookie of the Year. In 1949 he was also MVP then in 1955 he helped the Dodgers win the World Series (Damio, Christy). His success is what leads him into the Hall of Fame. Since he was the first black in the Hall of Fame it opened up a door for other ethnicities to be able to do the same thing. Jackie knew that it’d be hard to get where he was and he never stopped until he did.
In any case, his courageous battle for equal rights earned him a special place in history. In particular, the Hall of Fame was and is every baseball player’s most indulgent desire, but for Jackie it was deemed impossible; however, “Jackie Robinson made baseball history and that’s what the Hall of Fame is, baseball history”(Robinson and Duckett). Therefore, in 1962, Jackie Robinson became the first African American to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. As a result, the Dodgers retired his number, 42, to preserve his everlasting memory (The Jackie Robinson Foundation). Nevertheless, Jackie Robinson was a unique individual, a legend in baseball, and an inspiration for civil rights.
Baseball has had many changes to it since it has began, but none have been as big as the integration of African Americans; this changed the attitude of the nation and made everyone come together. Thanks to the Brooklyn Dodgers bringing in a player that held his ground so well against the racism and the scrutiny the integration worked out. Now everyone wants to be like Jackie and make a huge impact in his or her lives like he did. Jackie said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
With his great pitching, powerful bat, and winning personality, he was quickly on his way to greatness, overshadowing players like Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner. After a controversy revealed that the Chicago White Sox conspired to throw the 1919 World Series, the sport of baseball was in need of a hero. The scandal had shaken the public’s faith in the game. However, in 1919, while still a part-time pitcher for the Red Sox, Ruth made his home-run assault on the record books. His 25th home run that year shattered the modern major league record held by the now forgotten Gabby Kraveth.
Jackie Robinson changed the face of Major League Baseball. He was the first colored man to play in the major leagues and opened other sports up to black athletes. He brought the Negro style of play to the game of baseball and broke the colored barrier for the MLB. Jackie became the symbol of hope for Americans and soon hoped to break the segregation all together. In his letter to the President he said, “I hope in the near future America is determined to provide the freedoms we are entitled to under the constitution” (U.S. National).
It is the great American pastime. In the Civil War, the North and south would play a game of baseball after a tough day at war. Jackie Robinson’s crossing the color line in 1947 opened baseball to other African-Americans, but he also opened African-Americans to be able to play football, basketball, and other sports. Baseball is a sport where you must have fun with the game. Baseball will always be remembered in America because it was so popular here.