Audience versions of this page: FamilyOn April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson took to the field as the first-baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson was the first African American to play Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era. Since 2004, baseball has honored Robinson’s legacy by celebrating April 15 as “Jackie Robinson Day.”Robinson was an experienced athlete, having played for the Kansas City Monarchs (part of the Negro leagues) and MLB minor-league teams. Although Robinson was not the best player from the Negro Leagues (most historians agree that was legendary catcher Josh Gibson), he was well-respected, and his even temper impressed Dodgers’ president Branch Rickey. Rickey was looking for an African American player with “guts enough not to fight back” against the racist treatment that was sure to come.Robinson and Larry Doby, an African American athlete hired by the Cleveland Indians just 11 weeks after Robinson, endured racist taunts from fans, opposing players, and even teammates. They played spectacularly despite the discrimination, with Robinson being the first Rookie of the Year in 1947 and Player of the Year in 1949.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry discrimination Noun
treatment based on a group to which a person belongs, not the person himself.
excellent or very good.
material, ideas, or history passed down or communicated by a person or community from the past.
famous, heroic, or celebrated.
Negro leagues Noun
(1885-1960) American baseball teams and competitions with African American players.
community or government policy of denying certain rights to people based on their ancestry, usually signified by skin color.
athlete playing his or her first professional season.
dramatic and impressive.
to mock or provoke by teasing.
state of mind and emotions.