How Baseball was changed by Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson changed baseball in America in the 1940s by breaking the segregation barrier that was bestowed on baseball. Robinson played in the Negro League for the Kansas City Monarchs. In 1945 Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers negotiated a contract with Robinson that would bring Robinson into the major leagues in 1947. Baseball was segregated because of racial intolerance, economic factors, and other complex reasons. The major leagues would rent out their stadiums to the Negro League teams when their own team would be on the road. For example, if the Brooklyn Dodgers were on the road they would rent out their stadium to the Kansas City ...view middle of the document...
They were to be called the Brown Dodgers. Rickey acted out scenes to see how Robinson would respond. Robinson was able to keep his composure throughout the test. Robinson started out with the Dodger organization by playing for their Minor League affiliate team the Montreal Royals. Robinson debuted in the Major Leagues in April 1947. Robinson wore the number 42 for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Robinson joined the Army in 1942 and served on bases in Kansas and Texas. Shortly after becoming second lieutenant he was confronted by a court martial when he refused to move to the back of the bus. Robinson was removed from the Army because of the violation. After he left the Army Robinson joined the Kansas City Monarchs. Robinson played one season with the Monarchs and had a batting average of .387 and had 5 homeruns. Robinson was the shortstop for the Monarchs in 1945. In April 15, 1947 Robinson was brought in the majors to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Robinson played in the Majors for 10 years for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson appeared in “1,382 games and had a batting average of .311 and had 137 homeruns in his career. Robinson was a 6 time All-Star. Robinson appeared in 6 World Series. Robinson’s first year in the Majors the Dodgers went to the World Series and lost in 7 games to the New York Yankees. The only time the Dodgers won the World Series was in 1955 when they beat the Yankees” (Baseball Almanac).
Not only did Robinson change baseball with his tremendous ability he also changed baseball with the fact that he was a strong man who was able to take all the abuse. During a game against the St. Louis Cardinals, Robinson was hit in the head by a fastball. During his career he was always targeted as an enemy. Robinson took all his aggression in and let it out with his tremendous talent.
Jackie Robinson did not change how baseball was played, he changed how Americans thought. “Robinson is the most historically significant ball player ever. He ranks with Babe Ruth in terms of his impact on the National Pastime” (Swaine). When Robinson took to the field in 1947 the 60 year baseball segregation came to an end. Robinson was the first African American to play Major League Baseball. Also, he was the first to win a batting title, the first to win the Most Valuable Player award, and the first to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame (Swaine). Robinson also won baseball’s first Rookie of the Year award. Also, he was the first Baseball player to be featured on a United States Postage Stamp (Swaine). Robinson’s statistics only scratched the surface of what he did for baseball and Americans. Robinson was a second baseman for most of his career. Robinson’s base running skills is still one of the best all time. He created havoc with his long leadoffs and jockeying back and forth, and threatening to steal on every pitch (Swaine). Robinson drew 740 walks and only struck out 291 times in his 10 year career with the Dodgers. Robinson was a versatile player;...