Jackie Robinson was one of the most influential people during the civil rights movement. He was the very first African American professional baseball player. He played second base for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Not only did he play second base for them, but his batting average was 31.1 percent, which in the Major League is pretty darn good. He was lightning fast on the base paths with 197 stolen bases in a ten year span. Although it is pretty rare to have a player who is fast and has hitting power. Jackie Robinson had it all, adding 137 home runs to his outstanding statistics. One thing he didn’t have was much respect, at least respect that people would talk aloud about. Most people were afraid of what other racist people would say if they were
Jackie Robinson Played a major role in the changing of civil rights, by becoming the first African American Major League Baseball player. He started playing in the MLB for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. His first year in the MLB he became rookie of the year. He played six World Series games, and won one championship.
The legacy of Jackie Robinson goes beyond the April 15, 1947 afternoon at Ebbets Field, when the Brooklyn Dodger infielder became the first black in the 20th century to play baseball in the major leagues. He changed the sport, and he changed the attitude of a lot of people in this country, Jackie Robinson fought for all the people that were fortunate, a lot of them are, especially the minority guys, to be able to play in the major leagues and the impact on the people of color today.
Jackie Robinson, from early on in his life, was known for his great achievements in sports, but his achievements in sports only aided the greater goal of racial equality. Robinson attended Pasadena Junior College, where he often got in trouble for not cooperating with Jim Crow laws- laws that enforced segregation between African Americans and Whites. He also attended UCLA College where he met his future wife, but he was not able to finish because of financial difficulties. When he entered the Military he faced discrimination from other soldiers; this discrimination he faced showed him that sports were his true calling, not the military. He seemed destined to lead a career in bringing African Americans and whites together. Jackie Robinson played baseball at a time when it was segregated, a time where there were white leagues and African American leagues and the two did not mix. Being a civil rights activist, Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, opening up sports to African Americans.
To the average person, in the average American community, Jackie Robinson was just what the sports pages said he was, no more, no less. He was the first Negro to play baseball in the major leagues. Everybody knew that, but to see the real Jackie Robinson, you must de-emphasize him as a ball player and emphasize him as a civil rights leader. That part drops out, that which people forget. From his early army days, until well after his baseball days, Robinson had fought to achieve equality among whites and blacks. "Jackie acted out the philosophy of nonviolence of Martin Luther King Jr., before the future civil rights leader had thought of applying it to the problem of segregation in America"(Weidhorn 93). Robinson was an avid member of the NAACP and helped recruit members because of his fame from baseball. Jackie had leadership qualities and the courage to fight for his beliefs. Unwilling to accept the racism he had run into all his life, he had a strong need to be accepted at his true worth as a first-class citizen. Robinson was someone who would work for a cause - that of blacks and of America - as well as for himself and his team.
On April 18, 1946, perhaps the most important date in baseball history, 37 year old Jackie Robinson signed with the owner of the Dodgers franchise Branch Rickey and became the first African-American to take a step into the white leagues since the Gentlemen's Agreement in 1890. Born in Cairo, Georgia in 1919 to a family of sharecroppers, Jackie had plenty of experience with racism. He went to UCLA for college and in 1941 became the first player, white or African-American, to win varsity letters in four sports including baseball, baseball, football, and track. Financial difficulties eventually forced Jackie to leave college, so he decided to enlist in the US Army. He spent two years in the army and reached the rank of 2nd Lieutenant which was fairly high for an African-American back then. After two years of racial discrimination in the army, Jackie left with an honorable discharge. In 1945, he decided to start playing baseball again. Jackie got accepted onto the Kansas City Monarchs, a Negro League team. In 1946, Branch Rickey, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers offered Jackie Robinson ...
“Hey Jackie, you should play baseball.” Jackie Robinson had no intention to play baseball. Jackie Robinson had to deal with many racial comments and put downs, but Jackie never gave up and ended up as a Major League hero. Jackie played many sports in high school and he was good at all of them. He lettered in every sport he played in high school. After high school, he didn’t have any intention to play sports anymore. Jackie actually enlisted in the army. He served two years and he ranked second lieutenant. Jackie’s army career ended really short compared to many other veterans. Jackie had to go to court for his objections against racial discrimination. After that jumble was done, Jackie came home and played For the Kansas City Monarchs, which is in the Negro League. He traveled the whole Midwest playing baseball with them. Jackie led the team in every offensive category and he only played one season. After his season with the Monarchs, Branch Rickey approached him about coming up and playing with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Major League had not had an African American since 1889, when baseball became segregated. Jackie accepted this offer. Jackie was the first to break the color barrier in the Major League. Jackie started his first game on April 15th, and that was only the start of Jackie’s legend of a career (Jackie Robinson , 2011).
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). He dealt with racial issues, grew up only playing with blacks, and changed the face of baseball. If it wasn’t for Jackie or Branch Rickey the MLB wouldn’t have African-Americans playing in the major leagues. He accomplished so much in his baseball career and in his retirement after baseball.
Before 1947, Major League Baseball had never had a black player, although there were Negro Leagues. Jackie Robinson broke that. It takes courage and dedication to chase after something you love. Jackie had that for the game of baseball. The Civil Rights Movement was occurring during the time Jackie enter the Major Leagues, so the times were tough for him. Jackie did more than just play baseball; he introduced a whole new way to play the game, with blacks and whites. He did this by breaking the color barrier and introducing blacks into the Major Leagues, facing discrimination and showing his true passion for the game, and showing that he was looking to help all African-Americans in the civil rights movement.
“Most of all I was speechless.” This is what Jackie Robinson says he felt when Branch Rickey tell him Jackie was actually scouted to be in the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jackie Robinson’s effort to eliminate segregation in major league baseball helped the civil right movement by, proving that he was very talented and passionate, he always made sure he didn’t take the wrong step, and he always did his best. “This player had to be one to take abuse, name-calling, rejection from fans and sportswriters and fellow players not only opposing teams but his own. On the other hand he had to be a contradiction in human terms; he still had to have spirit.” (Allen, 804) This is what Branch Rickey wants in Jackie. In fact, Jackie Robinson was all that and more,