Jackie Robinson Essay was one of the best players that proffesional baseball has
ever seen and greatly helped major league baseball accept African American
players that otherwise would not have palyed.
Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born January 31, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia
(Hill 1). Jackies grandfather was a slave and his father a sharecropper (1). His
mom and dad got a divorce when Jackie was just a baby (1). He, his mother and
four siblings moved after his parents got a divorce (1).
His mother took all the
children and moved to Pasedena, California (1).
Not long after the family moved to Pasedena, Jackies mother enrolled him
into Pasedena Junior College (Robinson, Jackie). He went on to University of
California at Los Angeles (UCLA) (1). Jackie was a standout in school sports at
UCLA, he played football, baseball, basketball, and track (1). He later left
college in the middle of his junior year to join the Army in 1941 (1). Four years
after entering the Army Jackie was discharged because of a confrentation with
another officer when he would not give up his seat on a military bus (1).
discharged as a first Lieutenant (1).
After leaving the Army Jackie wanted to play baseball, his favorite sport.
He tried out for many teams and was drafted by the Kansas City Monarchs
Negro League Team (Hill 1). The Negro League schedule was very tuff. The
team was always on the road playing games. Jackie did not like the life style of
being on the Monarchs (Robinson, Jackie).
He and his teammates would have
to withstand the racial tensions everywhere they went (Ward, Burns 285) .
While Jackie was playing in the Negro Leagues, Branch Rickey, the Los
Angeles Dodgers manager was secretly sending out scouts to look at Jackie and
other players in the Negro leagues that stood out above the rest fo their baseball
talent (Hill 1). Rickey made the excuse to the scouts that he wanted to put
together an all black baseball team called the Brown Dodgers (2). He was
really looking for the right black player that would break the color barrier in
professional baseball (1). Rickey looked at all his options and he chose Jackie
Robinson of the Kansas City Monarchs (1). He chose Jackie because of his
skills in baseball and his courage (1).
Branch and Jackie met on August 28, 1945 to discuss his signing to the
LA Dodgers (1). The meeting was very important because rickey wanted to
make sure Robinson would not retaliate against the racist comments that he will
be facing if he was moved up to the LA Dodgers (2). Rickey sent Robinson to
the semi-professional team the Dodgers had, the Montreal Royals (Robinson,
Jackie). While Robinson was with the Royals, he was he was an athletic
standout with a lot of talent for playing professional baseball (Hill 1). He enjoyed
playing on the Montreal Royals because race was not really an issue in Canada
and he was very popular all over the country (Robinson, Jackie). He led the
Royals to the minor league championship (Rydell 86).
The next season Robinson got moved up to the Los Angeles Dodgers
professional team late in spring training, only five days before the Dodgers first
game (86). This gave the critics not much time to react to the new player in the
league (86). On April 15, 1947 Jackie became the first black player to play
major league baseball in the United States (87). Robinsons moving to the team
caused national outrage between coaches, teams, and fans (87). His new
teammates signed a petition to get him off the team just because he was black
(Ward, Burns 283). The general managers and head coaches of the Dodgers
including Branch Rickey and Pee Wee Reese kept him on the team and
encouraged him to stay and ignore the racial slurs and name calling (Ward,
Other teams tried to boycott, but it did not work (Rydell 86).
Robinsons first games were the hardest (86). He had many death threats made
against him (Robinson, Jackie). The hotels that Robinson went to with the
team would not serve him because blacks were not allowed (Robinson,
Jackie). Even though he would not get served at restaurants and hotels, he
always kept his composier and never lost his temper (Ward, Burns 283).
Robinson was always called names but he just ignored them and took a
non-violent approach to the situation (Robinson, Jackie).