Robinson, Roosevelt, Jack - JackieJACK ROOSEVELT ‘JACKIE’ ROBINSON
Born: Jan 31, 1919
Died: Oct. 24, 1972
Kansas City Monarchs 1945; Brooklyn Dodgers 1947-56.
Elected to Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
Every major league team has retired uniform No. 42 to honor Robinson.
Jackie Robinson broke the Major League Baseball color barrier when he became the first black baseball player in the U.S. major leagues during the 20th century. As an infielder and outfielder for the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League from 1947 through 1956.came to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Two years later, he hit a league-leading .342, drove in 124 runs, and was voted the Most Valuable Player in the NationalLeague.
Reared in Pasadena, Calif., Robinson became an outstanding all-around athlete at Pasadena Junior College and the University of California at Los Angeles. He excelled in football, basketball, and track as well as baseball. Robinson withdrew from U.C.L.A. in his third year to help his mother care for the family. In 1942 he entered the U.S. Army, attended officer candidate school, was commissioned a second lieutenant in 1943, and received a medical discharge in 1945. He then played professional football in Hawaii and baseball with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro National League.
On Oct. 23, 1945, Robinson and pitcher John Wright, also black, were signed by Branch Rickey, president of the Brooklyn club, to play on a Dodger farm team, the Montreal Royals of the International LeagueRobinson led that league in batting average in 1946 and was brought up to play for Brooklyn in 1947. He was an immediate success.
Leading the National League in stolen bases, he was chosen rookie of the year. In 1949 he won the batting championship with a .342 average and was voted the league's most valuable player.
His career average was .311. As a base runner, Robinson unnerved opposing pitchers and terrorized infielders who had to try to prevent his stealing bases. After retiring from baseball early in 1957, Robinson engaged in business. His autobiography, I Never Had It Made, was published in 1972.