This weekend marks the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut in Major League Baseball, shattering the color barrier in a sport Blacks dominated in their own leagues. The Los Angeles Dodgers will erect a statue in honor of the late Hall Of Fame star, which will serve as a lasting reminder of Robinson’s baseball legacy.
On April 15. 1947 Robinson became the first Black player in the major leagues with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Facing down a hostile environment that included death threats and abject racism, he went 0 for 3 as a first baseman in his debut. But he went on to have a stellar season and soon became one of the stars of the game. Over the course of his decade-long career, Robinson was a six-time All-Star and a 1955 World Series champion with the Dodgers.
Robinson retired from the game in 1956 due to complications related to diabetes. He passed away at the age of 53 in 1972, but not before entering the MLB’s Hall of Fame in 1962. He is survived by his widow, Rachel Robinson, and their children Sharon and David. Their first son, Jackie Jr., was killed in an automobile accident in 1971 at the age of 24.
The Robinson clan will be in attendance at Dodger Stadium on Jackie Robinson Day this Saturday along with other stars such as team co-owner Magic Johnson and Tommy Lasorda among others. Robinson’s “42” number has been universally retired by the MLB, and all player will wear the number in remembrance.
The Ten Most Interesting Little Known Black History Facts
1. The 6888th Battalion was the largest all Black female military unit in World War 2.Source:U.S. Department of Defense, Public Domain 1 of 10
2. The Fultz quadruplets were the first surviving identical African-American quads.Source:Library of Congress/Public Domain 2 of 10
3. The Muse BrothersSource:Public Domain 3 of 10
4. Gerald LawsonSource:Wikipedia/Fair Use 4 of 10
5. Frederick JonesSource:Minnesota Historical Society 5 of 10
6. Sarah RectorSource:Public Domain 6 of 10
7. Sarah BaartmanSource:Public Domain 7 of 10
8. Philippa SchuylerSource:Library of Congress, Public Domain 8 of 10
9. Millie and Christine McKoySource:John H. Fitzgibbon (Collection of Robert E. Green) Public Domain 9 of 10
10. Leonard NimoySource:PR Photos 10 of 10
Little Known Black History Fact: Jackie Robinson’s 70th Anniversary was originally published on blackamericaweb.com