Today's African American fact from baseball's "Golden Era"
January 23, 1962, Jackie Robinson became the first African American elected to
the National Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of
America (BBWAA).His induction later
that summer was not only an indication of his impact from being the first African
American to play Major League baseball in the 20th Century, but also
of Robinson’s tremendous ability as a ballplayer.
ten years in the Major Leagues (1947 – 1956) all with the Brooklyn Dodgers,
Robinson hit over .300 six times ending with a career batting average of
.311.Adding excitement to the game, he
brought the speed on the base paths from Negro League baseball that Major
League fans had not seen.In his career
he stole 197 bases (an average of 23 per year) and stole home (base) 19
times.Robinson was a key part of the
nucleus for six Dodger National League pennant winning teams and one World
Series Champion (1955). He was the 1951
National League Rookie of the Year, the 1949 National League Most Valuable Player
(MVP), and a six time National League All Star.
1945, Hall of Fame Cleveland Indian pitching star Bob Feller faced Robinson in
an exhibition game.When Robinson was
signed by the Dodgers, Feller openly stated Jackie would not be able to hit
Major League pitching and would fail.Robinson proved Feller’s prediction wrong and in an ironic twist
received his plaque in Cooperstown the same day as Feller.
Who finished second to Jackie Robinson
in the 1949 National League Most Valuable Player voting?