April 15 is Jackie Robinson Day. The annual holiday pays tribute to one of the most influential figures in sports history, Jackie Robinson. There are more talented and accomplished athletes in history than Jackie Robinson, but none are more important.
On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s racist barrier when he made his historic MLB debut. His presence in the MLB forced the sport to end segregation for good. Robinson faced tremendous pressure and abuse for being a Black man playing the game he loved. Despite the hatred, Robinson won Rookie of the Year in his first season. Robinson would prove to be one of the best players of all time, and what he had to endure makes his accomplishments on the field even more extraordinary. Who knows the kind of career Robison would have had if he did not have the pressures he had to deal with off the field.
Jackie Robinson Day
Robinson was the Rookie of the Year in 1947, was league MVP in 1949, won the world series with his Brooklyn Dodgers in 1955, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Baseball in 1962. That is an incredible resume. Filled with accomplishments few players can rival. But Robinson, because of his trailblazing accomplishments, has been honored with acknowledgments nobody else has. In 1997, the MLB honored Robinson by retiring his number throughout the league. The MLB continued to award the life of Robison by giving him his own day in 2004. On Jackie Robinson day, every player in Major League Baseball is asked to wear the number 42. The baseball community also finds additional ways to pay tribute to one of its greatest stars.
More Than A Baseball Hero
Jackie Robinson was more than just a baseball player and civil rights champion. He grew up in poverty but was still able to excel in athletics. During World War II, Robinson served in the United States Army. The hatred and violence Robinson encountered, not only in baseball, but also as a young boy, encouraged him to get heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement after leaving the game. Jackie Robison dedicated his life to equality. He was a brilliant athlete, but more importantly, he was a man of conviction.
Jackie Robinson died at the age of 53 in 1972. He accomplished tremendous things in a short amount of time on earth. Jackie Robinson is one of our greatest heroes and icons.
- Adam C. Better
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