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    Jackie Robinson Essay Thesis (1484 words)

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    Jackie Robinson was one of the best players that proffesional baseball hasever seen and greatly helped major league baseball accept African Americanplayers 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). Hismom and dad got a divorce when Jackie was just a baby (1). He, his mother andfour siblings moved after his parents got a divorce (1). His mother took all thechildren and moved to Pasedena, California (1).

    Not long after the family moved to Pasedena, Jackies mother enrolled himinto Pasedena Junior College (Robinson, Jackie). He went on to University ofCalifornia at Los Angeles (UCLA) (1). Jackie was a standout in school sports atUCLA, he played football, baseball, basketball, and track (1). He later leftcollege in the middle of his junior year to join the Army in 1941 (1). Four yearsafter entering the Army Jackie was discharged because of a confrentation withanother officer when he would not give up his seat on a military bus (1). He wasdischarged 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 MonarchsNegro League Team (Hill 1). The Negro League schedule was very tuff. Theteam was always on the road playing games. Jackie did not like the life style ofbeing on the Monarchs (Robinson, Jackie). He and his teammates would haveto withstand the racial tensions everywhere they went (Ward, Burns 285) .

    While Jackie was playing in the Negro Leagues, Branch Rickey, the LosAngeles Dodgers manager was secretly sending out scouts to look at Jackie andother players in the Negro leagues that stood out above the rest fo their baseballtalent (Hill 1). Rickey made the excuse to the scouts that he wanted to puttogether an all black baseball team called the Brown Dodgers (2). He wasreally looking for the right black player that would break the color barrier inprofessional baseball (1). Rickey looked at all his options and he chose JackieRobinson of the Kansas City Monarchs (1). He chose Jackie because of hisskills in baseball and his courage (1).

    Branch and Jackie met on August 28, 1945 to discuss his signing to theLA Dodgers (1). The meeting was very important because rickey wanted tomake sure Robinson would not retaliate against the racist comments that he willbe facing if he was moved up to the LA Dodgers (2). Rickey sent Robinson tothe semi-professional team the Dodgers had, the Montreal Royals (Robinson,Jackie). While Robinson was with the Royals, he was he was an athleticstandout with a lot of talent for playing professional baseball (Hill 1). He enjoyedplaying on the Montreal Royals because race was not really an issue in Canadaand 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 Dodgersprofessional team late in spring training, only five days before the Dodgers firstgame (86). This gave the critics not much time to react to the new player in theleague (86). On April 15, 1947 Jackie became the first black player to playmajor league baseball in the United States (87). Robinsons moving to the teamcaused national outrage between coaches, teams, and fans (87). His newteammates 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 Dodgersincluding Branch Rickey and Pee Wee Reese kept him on the team andencouraged him to stay and ignore the racial slurs and name calling (Ward,Burns 283). Other teams tried to boycott, but it did not work (Rydell 86). Robinsons first games were the hardest (86). He had many death threats madeagainst him (Robinson, Jackie). The hotels that Robinson went to with theteam would not serve him because blacks were not allowed (Robinson,Jackie). Even though he would not get served at restaurants and hotels, healways kept his composier and never lost his temper (Ward, Burns 283).

    Robinson was always called names but he just ignored them and took anon-violent approach to the situation (Robinson, Jackie). After many games Robinson started winning the respect of his fellowteammates, other teams, and fans by not fighting back (Rydell 86). Not only wasRobinson the only black player in the major leagues, but he was also one of thebest. Stadiums filled with record numbers of fans came to watch him playbaseball (Hill 2). By the end of his first year, he was a major league superstar(1). Robinson led the majors in stolen bases and was second in scored runs (1).

    He was voted Rookie of the Year for the 1948 season (2). Robinson had a very successful baseball career. He proved all of hiscritics wrong, they said Rickey only wanted him because he was black and nothow well he could play baseball (Rydell 87). He proved his critics wrong thevery first game he played with the LA Dodgers(87). He had four hits, includingone homerun and two stolen bases (87).

    After his spectacular first gameRobinson started getting death threats, but ignored them and he kept on playing(Hill 1). After leading a successful career in baseball Robinson retired from thegame in 1957 (Ward, Burns 289). The LA Dodgers also retired his number(Ward, Burns 289). He opened a chain of restaurants in New York and movedon to persue another dream, to help other black people become successful likehe did (Hill 2). He first joined the National Association for the Advancement ofColored People (NAACP) and was on the board of directors (Ward, Burns 289). In 1963 he started getting involved with the civil rights movement (Enders 1).

    Robinson teamed up with Martin Luther King Jr. and went to Birmingham,Alabama to speak out against racism. King and Robinson went to manygatherings around the Birmingham area to speak out against racism (Enders 1). The two had a very hard time getting people together to speak to them becauseof all the violence that was happening as a result of the racist south and theblack movement (Enders 2). In 1963, while Robinson and King were going fromchurch to church speaking they learned that an NAACP officer Medgar Everswas murdered (2). Shortly after the murder Robinson sent a letter to PresidentJohn F.

    Kennedy asking him to give Martin Luther King secret service protection(3). Kennedy gave them the protection and later on August 28, 1963 Robinsontook his family to see Martin Luther Kings famous I have a dream speech (3). Later in 1964, the Governor of New York and Republican presidentialcandidate Nelson Rockefeller asked Robinson if he wanted to be one of hiscampaign directors (3). He worked on the campaign for a short while untilRockefeller lost Barry Goldwater (3). In 1967 while Robinson was getting angrywith the NAACP and he resigned because he thought they were not radicalenough to take charge of the movement (3).

    While Robinson was still very frustrated and not satisfied with the waythings were going, he got a call from Hubert Humphery. He was a presidentialcandidate from Minnesota. Humphery asked Robinson to campaign along sidehim and give speeches about the black rights movement. But Humphery lost toRichard Nixon (3).

    One reason why the two candidates that Robinson went withended up losing was because America still did not like politicians that helpedblack people and that went along with their views (4). After the elections timewas wearing down Robinson and he went back home to live with his family (4). At his old age Robinson had endured a lot of pain. Many of the close friends hehad and family members had died including, John F. Kennedy, Martin LutherKing and Malcom X who were all assassinated.

    Also his mother Mallie, BranchRickey, and his son Jackie Junior who died in a car accident at the age of 24(Hill 2). Near the end his life, Robinson was invited to throw the first pitch of the1972 World Series. He died of a heart attack ten days later at the age of 53 (2). Jackie Robinson was a great baseball player and an equally great civilrights leader. Although he never got to see the integration of black people in theUnited States, his efforts helped a lot of people.

    He was one of the greatAmerican heroes and is an American legend. His courage gave the strength toother black athletes to persue their dreams. —————————————————–Outline Thesis StatementJackie Robinson was one of the best players that professional baseball hasever seen and greatly helped major league baseball accept African Americanplayers that otherwise would not have played. I. Early YearsA. History1.

    School2. BackgroundB. Family1. Five Siblings2.

    Son of a Share CropperII. SchoolA. College1. Pasadena Junior College2. UCLAB.

    School Sports1. Baseball favorite2. Excelled in four sportsIII. BaseballA. Semi Pros1.

    Monarchs2. RoyalsB. Pros1. LA Dodgers2. RetirementIV. Civil RightsA.

    Civil Movement1. Martin Luther King2. Birmingham, AlabamaB. NAACP1. On board of directors2.

    ResignedV. Later YearsA. Diseases1. Diabetes2. Heart ProblemsB.

    Deaths of loved ones1. three friends assassinated2. Family members—————————————————–Works CitedRobinson, Jackie Computer Software. Encarta. Microsoft Corporation,1996. IBMRydell, Wendell.

    Sports Greats Past and Present. New York:Interlyth, LTD. 1974: 86-87Enders, Eric. Jackie Robinson and the Civil Rights Movement. www. utexas.

    eduHill, Gary. Jackie Robinson was Never Satisfied. www. sound.

    netWard, Geoffry C. ; Burns, Ken. Baseball an Illustrated Encyclopedia. New York:Alfred A. Knopf, 1994

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