Jackie Robinson Integrates Professional Baseball1947
external image jackie-robinson.jpgLocation:Brooklyn, New York
Date: 1947- Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers
Overview: Jack Roosevelt Robinson was the first African American on a major league baseball team. Born in Cairo, Georgia in 1919 Jackie Robinson grew up in a poor neighborhood and had a rough childhood. Jackie attended UCLA, but had to drop out do to financial difficulties and enlisted in the army. Jackie dropped out of the army and played one season in the Negro Baseball League. In 1947 Jackie joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Major Leagues had not had an African American play since 1889, when baseball became segregated. Being the first African American in the Major League Baseball Jackie Robinson put his life at risk, for he sacrificed himself for the country.Robinson was deeply hurt by racial insults and poor treatment he recieved from some fans, teammates and opposing teams. Because of Jackie's courage he did not retaliate, for he proved himself on the field.

Key PlayersJackie RobinsonBranch Rickey
Lasting Impact on American History:
Jackie Robinson was the first black player to break the color Barrier in the U.S Major League Baseball. Before 1947, the United States was segregated and resisted to intergrate sports, and daily American life. In order for Jackie Robinson to break the racial barrier Branch Rickey, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, signed Jackie to the Major League Baseball team. Branch picked Robinson because he was a superior athlete and he had the mental strength and toughness to withstand the unavoidable racial slurs he would suffer without exploding into a rage. At the end of Robinson's rookie season he had become National Rookie of the Year with 12 homers, 29 steals and a .297 average.
As a result of Jackie Robinsons success the Dodgers signed more black players to their roster, and other Major league teams also slowly signed players of color. Black athletes like professional Golf player Tiger woods, NFL football coach Fritz Pollard, and NHL hockey player Willie O'Ree owe their success to Jackie Robinson. Jackie Robinson opened the door for other black athletes to play and succeed in the sports they love. Ernest Burke, a player for the Baltimore Elite Giants, a Negro League team once said " Jackie is a legend to every black ball player and to every black man in America."
Jackie retired from Major League baseball in 1956, but his impact did not end there. With the growing change of racial beliefs American life started to desegregate as well. In 1948 President Truman ordered the desegregation of the U. S armed forces. In 1954, the U.S supreme court ruled school segregation unconstitutional. And in 1955 Rosa Parks refusal to sit at the back of the bus in Alabama led to the end of segregation, major civil rights, and voting laws. Jackie Robinson's desegregation in baseball is a large part of why the United States is desegregated today. Jackie Robinson was eventually inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962 for his astonishing accomplishments in Major League Baseball, and impact on America. Jackie Robinson died at the young age of 53 from a heart attack, but his legacy lives forever.