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13. Jackie Robinson: Breaking the Color Line
There was a time in the United States
black people were not allowed to play the
of baseball with white players. That was before
great Jackie Robinson broke what was called the
line in baseball. Prior to April 15, 1947,
League Baseball was an exclusive "whites only" organization
barred black players from participation. Black Americans could
play in the Negro Leagues that existed roughly
1920 through 1948. Robinson, and the Brooklyn Dodgers,
an end to segregation in baseball that year,
began a movement for racial equality in the
Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia on
31, 1919, but grew up in Pasadena, California,
Los Angeles. He was an outstanding athlete who
baseball and football for Pasadena City College, then
the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).
his time with the Dodgers, the team won
championship, and appeared in the World Series six
. From 1949 to 1954, Robinson was named to
All-Star Team, and he won the National League
Valuable Player Award. He was also named the
Rookie of the Year in 1947, the first
the award was given.
Today, Robinson is honored
every team in both the National and American
on Jackie Robinson Day. On that day, all
players wear the number 42 in honor of
. That number, used to be worn by Robinson,
retired universally by all baseball teams, making it
first time any league has retired a number.
player on any MLB team can ever wear
number again. Robinson was inducted into the Hall
Fame in 1962. He died in October 24,
, and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of
and the Congressional Gold Medal for his part
changing American society.