On April 15, 1947; Jackie Robinson became the first African American since before the turn of the century to play Major League baseball. Wearing Number 42 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Robinson played first base and batted second in the team’s home opener at Ebbet’s Field against the Boston Braves.Robinson’s breaking through of baseball’s “invisible color line” was not just one of the most significant historical events in sports. Occurring seven years before Rosa Parks and the Montgomery bus boycott, many see it now in retrospect as the first step in the civil rights movement.
To celebrate the day of Robinson’s debut, Major League Baseball has designated today, “Jackie Robinson Day”. All players today will wear number “42” on their uniforms.
On that historic day, Robinson grounded out to third base in the first inning, flied out to left field in the third, and hit into a double play in the fifth against Braves tough starting pitcher Johnny Sain, a twenty game winner. In the seventh inning, he reached on an error by the first baseman and came around to score his first Major League run on Pete Reiser’s double.
For the year, Robinson hit .297, with 12 home runs and 36 stolen bases. He was winner of the National League’s first Rookie of the Year award.
When did you first hear of Jackie Robinson?