A Look Back At A Baseball Legend On His 100th Birthday

Photo Courtesy: Bob Sandberg

Jackie Robinson, the MLB player who broke the league’s color barrier, would have been 100 years old today.

Robinson spent his entire 10-year career playing for the then-Brooklyn Dodgers from 1947-56, becoming the first African-American person to play in the MLB.

Branch Rickey, the GM of the Dodgers at the time, signed Robinson to the team.

Over the course of his MLB career, Robinson was named Rookie of the Year in 1947. He was named to six All-Star games, received the league MVP award in 1949, and a World Series ring in 1955.

Robinson also won a batting title in his MVP year in 1949, which he batted .342.

Near the end of his career, the Dodgers traded Robinson to the then-New York Giants. However, the trade would never fall through, as Robinson decided to retire.

Robinson finished his MLB career with a .311 batting average, 1,518 hits, 137 homers, 734 RBI’s, and 197 stolen bases.

After his playing days ended, Robinson endured health problems later in life, suffering from heart disease and diabetes.

Robinson’s illnesses led to him nearly losing his vision completely.

On Oct. 24, 1972, Robinson passed away from a heart attack at the age of 53.

Since his death, the legacy of Jackie Robinson has been a significant one.

In 1997, the MLB officially retired the number 42, which was Robinson’s number during his tenure with the Dodgers. The last player to officially wear the number was soon-to-be MLB Hall of Famer, Mariano Rivera.

Books have been written and movies have been made on Robinson’s career. In 2013, Brian Helgeland directed the biographical film “42”, which starred Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson, and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey.

The movie would gross $97.5 million in the box office.

As of today, the MLB continues to be diverse as players come from all over the world.

1 Comment

  1. Good article. Makes me think of the statistics he could have set higher without the ignorance and hate he had to deal with. His storied history is worth the re-visit, which I plan to do. Thanks N.R.

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