Jackie Robinson

explanatory Essay
1697 words
1697 words

Baseball has always been America’s national pastime. In the early and all the way into the mid 50’s, baseball was America and America was baseball. The only thing lacking in the great game was the absence of African American players and the presence of an all white sport. America still wasn’t friendly or accepted the African American race and many still held great prejudice towards them. All this would change when the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey decided he was going to sign a Negro player. Jackie Robinson was that player and Jackie Robinson changed the game, America, and history. By looking specifically at his childhood adversity, college life and the hardships he encountered by becoming the first black player in the game, it will be shown why Jackie Robinson is a great American story and hero. Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia to a family of sharecroppers and then moved to Pasadena, California. His mother Millie raised Jackie and four others single-handedly in a neighborhood where they were the only blacks on the block (Duckett 19). In Pasadena is where Jackie would first realize his color would bring him much grief and heartache in the many coming years. Here, Jackie grew up poor, on a good day he would get two meals a day, but usually depended on the leftovers his mother could bring home from work. Many of the whites in the neighborhood and surrounding areas would try to buy them out, beg them to move, and threaten them if they didn’t. The Robinson’s stayed strong and never budged as they were determined to stay (Duckett 21). Jackie would move on to bigger and better things as Jackie stared in high school athletics and moved onto college. Pasadena Junior College was Jackie’s first stop as he enrolled into a very liberal school which did deal with blacks better than most. This was overshadowed by his brother being there and being known as the country’s premier amateur sprinter (Daniels 68). Here Jackie quickly developed into a star baseball player and athlete and quickly became known as a great athlete, but most importantly his baseball game was taking off. Jackie also developed a great love for football here and could have been just as good, if not his first love of baseball. Jackie spent 1937 to 1939 at PJC and then moved on to his next greatest achievement, UCLA. Jackie ended many months of rumors, anticipation, ... ... middle of paper ... ...resident Bill Clinton, the First Lady and Jackie Robinson’s wife, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced that number 42, the number of Jackie Robinson, would never be worn again and retired in all 30 major league baseball stadiums. In honor of the 50th year anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier, all teams wore commemorative patches on their uniforms to honor Robinson. The legend of Jackie Robinson will never be forgotten, as his memory will forever be here as a reminder of his achievements. The doors he opened for so many can never be closed. America is about Freedom and Jackie Robinson is symbolic of freedom and life. Roy Campanella best said it about Jackie and freedom, “When Jackie took the field, something within us reminded us of our birthright to be free” (Chadwick 352). There are very few who have had the impact on a game, history, and America as Robinson did. He touched more lives then anyone of his time. Many people feel a person’s life is judged on what they did for others, well Jackie Robinson’s life was a success. “A life is not important except the impact it has on others” (Chadwick 417). Thank you Jackie, you are gone but not forgotten.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that baseball was america's national pastime in the early 1950s, but the absence of african american players and the presence of an all-white sport changed the game, america, and history.
  • Explains that jackie robinson was born in cairo, georgia, to a family of sharecroppers and moved to pasadena, california, where his mother millie raised him and four others single-handedly.
  • Explains that jackie would move on to bigger and better things as he stared in high school athletics and moved onto college. pasadena junior college was his first stop as it dealt with blacks better than most.
  • Describes how jackie ended many months of rumors, anticipation, and the hopes of many by enrolling at ucla where he would begin making history and rewriting record books.
  • Explains that jackie experimented with different jobs but felt like he had no future in professional sports. after pearl harbor, jackie was drafted into the war and was called a n*****.
  • Describes how jackie felt like god had something special in store for him. the negro leagues were depleted of talent because of the war, so they accepted him with open arms.
  • Explains that robinson didn't understand why rickey wanted to sign him and not gibson, who is considered by many as the greatest power hitter of all time.
  • Describes how jackie made history as he played his first game for the dodgers on april 11, 1947. he led the league in stolen bases and was named rookie of the year.
  • Analyzes how jackie led the league in stolen bases in 1947 and 1949 and was selected to his first all-star team in 1949 while hitting.342 and winning the nl mvp. he earned a reputation as an aggressive player who could take over the game.
  • Explains that jackie robinson's legacy didn't stop with baseball. he became heavily involved in the naacp all the way through 1967, earning the springarn medal.
  • Explains that jackie robinson's greatest honor came in 1962, when he was elected to the baseball hall of fame with branch rickey presenting his award.
  • Opines that the legend of jackie robinson will never be forgotten, as his memory will forever be here as a reminder of his achievements.
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