Jackie Robinson’s Impact on Segregation in Baseball

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Jackie Robinson, born on January 31, 1919. He grew up living in poverty with his family in Cairo, Georgia and was the youngest of five children. Growing up, and for most of his life, he excelled in sports.

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When he graduated from John Muir High he decided to attend Pasadena Junior College. There he played football, basketball, track, and baseball. He later transferred to University of California, Los Angeles, and became the university’s first student to win varsity letters in four sports. Unfortunately, Jackie was forced to leave UCLA and didn’t graduate because he did not have enough money. Jackie later came to be the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball, and this is where it all changed.Later in the 1800?»s, Professional African-American teams were formed, along with what was called “negro leagues”. Even when they weren’t allowed to play with the whites, African-American’s would play with one another. The only time interracial games were held was when major league white teams played against black teams for entertainment.

In the United States during the early 1900?»s, it was prohibited for African-Americans to play on white professional teams. There were times when baseball owners and managers of major leagues attempted to hire African-Americans by saying they were actually Native Americans or Hispanics. However, most Major League owners and managers didn’t want African-Americans to play on their team so they prevented trying to do so. Professional Baseball wasn’t segregated everywhere. Latin American in places like Mexico and Cuba accepted African-Americans and allowed them to play. During the winter, African-Americans would go there to play baseball. During the summer, they would also play for their Negro Leagues in the United States. Jackie started off his baseball career when he started playing for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1945. This was a Negro American League where there was much competition. In the Negro League, there was more involvement than there were in organized baseball. In the year 1947, Jackie profoundly became known as the first African-American athlete to play in the Major League baseball. During this time he, he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was a base runner. Stealing home a total of 19 times, he set the league record. He helped lead the Dodgers to a win in the World Series. Before retiring, Jackie was the highest-paid athlete in the teams history. Things weren’t anything like how they are now in baseball. Modern day. African-Americans are allowed to play on White Major League nowadays thanks to Jackie Robinson. Before he came into the picture, African-Americans were only allowed to play on Negro leagues, and they were purposefully established just for this reason.

There were still much segregation between whites and blacks back then. There was still that color barrier preventing African-Americans from being able to play with whites. in the Major League. Jackie plays a big role in breaking the color barrier and ending racial segregation in baseball, However, there is another guy who plays an important role as well, Wendell Smith. He was a journalist and was known for accompanying Jackie and helping him as he was starting off his career with the Dodgers. Wendell was with Jackie during all the tribulations there were, being that he was the first African-American to play in the Major League. Wendell was also known for being a strong advocate within the integration there was back then in professional baseball. He didn?»t only want to help Jackie cross the color barrier, but all African-Americans that wanted to play in the all white Major League. Wendell was a well known journalist. Through his journalism, he was able to fight for the justice of African-Americans. He went to extreme measures and constantly fought not only for African-Americans, but also for the fans of baseball. He claimed that the fans were being deprived of witnessing some of the best baseball players. His sense of advocation lured in the appeal of many people of the public.

People were learning more about the segregation between whites and blacks in baseball and throughout the public. Due to this, ineffective tryouts for the Boston professional teams were held for African-American baseball players. Wendell Smith began working with the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey. He started working with Branch to bring Jackie onto the team. Wendell had a strong public voice and was able to discuss the problems with integration within professional baseball. Wendell wanted to end Negro Leagues so that there would no longer be a separation between the whites and blacks. Critics would claim that ending Negro Leagues weren?»t safe for the black communities. Through it all, Wendell stood by Jackie. He knew that the whites only cared about themselves and would always consider themselves to be more or better than the African-Americans.

In 1947, Jackie broke the color barrier and played his first Major League Baseball game. After that season he was awarded the Rookie of the Year Award. Throughout Jackies ten year career he lead the Brooklyn Dodgers in winning their first World Series Championships and six pennants (championship flags). In 1949 he was selected as the MVP in the National League. Jackie set the League?»s record by having stolen home 19 times. He had a total of 137 runs, he stole 29 bases, and had a total of 734 runs batted in. Jackie led the Brooklyn Dodgers to six World Series and one World Series Championship. His contributions include much more than just those within baseball. Even after he retired, Jackie Robinson continued to fight to prove that African-Americans had so much more to offer. He continued to fight to improve the quality of life for African-American?»s and also all of society. He didn’t only try to do right for African-Americans, he cared for the wellness of others as well. Jackie later became the first black vice president of an American corporation and was able to open doors for African-Americans.

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