He will rank among the all - time greats, like Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, etc. “Ruth changed the way baseball was played; Jackie Robinson changed the way Americans thought” (Swaine 1). Referring to the quote by Mr. Robert Swaine, Jackie not only changed the game, but he did in fact change the way Americans thought. Nobody ever thought, back in those days, they would ever see an African - American play with white people. The more and more Jackie displayed control and didn’t react to all the racism he was facing, that’s when people started taking him seriously and starting to think that despite his skin color, or race, that he is a good ball player and we should give him a chance.
Jackie Robinson was not only the first African American to play in the MLB but, directly contributed to the civil rights movement around the world. Jackie Robinson made his debut April 15, 1947, for the Brooklyn Dodgers, officially breaking the color barrier. Jackie was not the best African American baseball player but Branch Rickey, the owner of the Dodgers once said, "I'm not looking for someone who is strong enough to fight back, I'm looking for someone who is strong enough not to fight back" (Branch Rickey). Jackie never fought back and his actions soon became the way many African Americans would fight the civil rights movement. Outside of baseball Jackie got involved in the civil rights movement through organizations.
He never played a bad game according to the fans; he always played at a high standard. He dominated the diamond with both his style, his power, and with his statistics. Ruth's 1927 sixty home run record in one season and his 714 home runs still remained until the 1960's. With his distinctive baseball style and his flashy lifestyle, Ruth was popular with not only true baseball fans, but non-fans as well. Ruth was a man that could represent the old style of baseball but could also follow the new style in which he ended his career.
He had a very good heart and tried to hold in his emotions towards the white fans in the stands. That’s why on October 23, 1945 Jackie Robinson signed to major league contract and became the first black man to play Major League Baseball (MLB). Ricky Branch the Dodgers manager signed Jackie because of his heart and good attitude. Many say that there were many player in the negro league with a better skills but Jackie had the best heart and was one of the only ones who could face the mean fans and not fight back just take and play better on the field. Jackie Robinson was an influential person of the 20th century because his influence on civil rights, his influence on the MLB and breaking the color barrier, and his philanthropic endeavors.
Without Jackie Robinson entering the game of baseball, there may have not been a Muhammed Ali, Arthur Ashe, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, or even Tiger Woods. Of course the possibility of another African American taking the throne and leading the fight for African rights through the game of baseball is justified but Jackie’s timing in the movement was impeccable. So impeccable, that it empowered others to stand up in a time of oppression. “All of us had to wait for Jackie,” said pitcher Joe Black. Joe Black says it well, Jackie Robinson is more than an African American baseball player, he was the beacon of light that sprouted the growth of blacks in the game of baseball, and sports nationwide.
This the led to Branch’s interest in Robinson since he was considered one of the best players in the International League and considering it was his first time playing with white men. During his career Jackie had several obstacles of discrimin... ... middle of paper ... ... only sports. His controversial first game was a major barrier for black people that he had just broken. At first no white person, except those sympathetic towards blacks, liked the idea of him in baseball and many were willing to do whatever it took to force him out of the league. Jackie was steadfast in not budging and giving to the pressure of fighting back to defend himself.
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.
We all wish him well and hope he can surmount the racial differences. At this time it was unheard of to have a black person treated equally to a white person, more the less it was highly unlikely to have a black person play on the same field as a white person. But for one man who stands alone Jackie Robinson’s conquest to break through the color barrier with the help of Branch Rickey has set new standards for all black athlete’s to come. Jackie Robinson grew up in Cairo, Georgia. Jackie attended UCLA where he played baseball, basketball, football, and track.
Breaking the Racial Barrier in Baseball Although Jackie Robinson was not the best African-American baseball player of his time, his attitude and ability to handle racist harassment led the way for the rest of his race to play Major League Baseball, amongst other sports. Being accepted into professional sports also helped African-Americans become more easily accepted into other aspects of life. Jackie's impact in the world for the black population is enormous. According to Jessie Jackson, "A champion wins a World Series or an Olympic event and is hoisted on the shoulders of the fans. A hero carries the people on his shoulders" (Robinson 3).
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.