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John Williams

Essay by review  •  March 24, 2011  •  Essay  •  962 Words (4 Pages)  •  793 Views

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Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born January 31, 1919. He was born in Cairo, Georgia and was the youngest of five children. He had a grandfather that was a slave, Jackie’s dad was a sharecropper and Mallie, Jackie’s mother, was a maid. His dad ran away from the family when Jackie was only an infant.

Jackie fought racism in his California childhood, at collage and throughout his whole life. During his childhood at California he was always picked on at school. Kids taunted him so much and so badly that he developed a hot temper.

When Jackie was growing up, whenever he would sense or be involved in legal injustice he would get really mad and there would be nothing he could of done about it.

At the University of California in Los Angeles, Jackie met his future wife, Rachel Islam. Jackie starred in four sports. Some have said that Jackie was the greatest American athlete, arguing that he was better at track & field, football and basketball than baseball. Later after college he joined the Negro Leagues to play professional baseball. If Blacks wanted to play professional baseball in 1946, they had to do so in the segregated Negro Leagues. Negro leagues started in 1920. They created these leagues because whites didn’t want blacks to play with them. They wanted the MLB to be clean white.

Jackie Robinson was drafted into the army in 1942. He had a series of many conflicts as he rose to the rank of lieutenant. The worst one was when Jackie was sitting in the front seats of a military bus. The front seats were the white people seats, and Jackie was arrested and was almost dishonorably discharged and perhaps never heard from again. There is nothing worse than being dishonorably discharged in the 1940’s. Back then if you were dishonorably discharged from the army, everyone knew you for it, it would be your entire reputation. Everyone would know you and tease you for what you did wrong to become dishonorably discharged from the Army.

It’s a good thing that Jackie Robinson wasn’t dishonorably discharged, but he was acquitted instead. He wouldn’t have been playing in the MLB if he was dishonorably discharged because Branch Rickey would of picked someone else for his first black player. But it 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first black player to play in the MLB for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jackie Robinson was the first black to play professional baseball in the MLB because Branch Rickey wanted to recruit black players onto his team. Rickey never clearly explained the motivations for this dramatic turnaround. “I couldn’t face my God much knowing that His black creatures are held separate and distinct from his white creatures in the game that has given me all I own.” Branch Rickey said.

Jackie Robinson was a huge step to integration because he ended segregation for baseball. He was voted the National League’s MVP in 1949 when he hit a league-leading .342 and drove in 124 runs. But it wasn’t a party being the first black to play Major League Baseball when he first started because white America did not react so well to the integration in Major League Baseball. Baseball was the big thing in 1947 because there was no lacrosse, there was no hockey and little football. So when Jackie Robinson played baseball then with everyone being prejudice, they taunted him, made fun of him, didn’t want to play with him, everything!

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