Jackie Robinson Day: 70 Years Later

Jackie Robinson Day: 70 Years Later
  • Cam Littlejohn

It was April 15, 1947, and not only was the game of baseball going to a see change, but the world itself would be experiencing history. And the man behind it all was a 28 year old black kid (which is considered old now to make your first appearance in the major leagues) from Cairo, Georgia.

Today marks the 70th anniversary since Jackie Robinson made his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers, being the first African American to do so.

Now, we could talk about Jackie’s stats and his .311 career batting average, or his 1,518 hits, but he was much more than this. Jackie was a pioneer to the game of baseball. He changed the way the game was played, and paved the way for much of Major League baseball we see today.

In the 1930s the Dodgers weren’t the greatest team at the time. But their organization had a home in Flatbush, Brooklyn, although not for long. Because of the distaste that was coming from some fans, Dodgers owner and manager, Branch Rickey decided to make some noise, and was desperate for a winning season.

Jackie was the perfect guy for the job. He had a demeanor to him where he didn’t let things get to him. But even someone like that is bound to get set off by something, no matter how thick your skin is.

When signing his contract with the Dodgers organization, there was a clause which issued Mr. Robinson to not be provoked or to retaliate, for 3 years against the taunts and racial slurs he would be receiving. It was tough but he did what he had to do in order to stay in the league.

His years to follow weren’t exactly the same situation. Jackie spoke up for what he believed in, and many people changed their views about him. This didn’t stop him. Jackie spoke out about the issues with racial discrimination, and did many things to fight against the injustice. Nonetheless Jackie continued to play out his remaining years with the Dodger organization, and contribute to it’s growing success.

Mr. 42 retired in 1957, but still was not forgotten from the game of baseball. Unfortunately one year after his retirement, the Brooklyn Dodgers shut down Ebbets field and moved to Los Angeles, where they currently reside.

It’s hard to imagine what the game of baseball today would be like without Jackie. It’s hard to imagine how society could still possibly be if it wasn’t for people like Jackie Robinson. His legacy still lives on to this day and we continue to honor Mr. Robinson’s cause, efforts and dedication to the game of baseball.