He was the quarterback on his football team, shortstop and catcher on his baseball team and the guard on his basketball team. He also joined the tennis team. He won many awards in track as well. In January of 1937 the Pasadena Star- News reported that Jackie Robinson had been the outstanding athlete at Mir Tech for two years in football, baseball, basketball, track and tennis. When Jackie Robinson graduated from Mir Tech high school he began college at Pasadena Junior College. At Pasadena Junior College he continued playing settable, football, baseball and track.
He was quarterback and safety on his football team. He was a shortstop and a lead hitter on his baseball team. He was named the region’s most Valuable Player in baseball in 1938. Jackie Robinson graduated from Pasadena Junior College in 1939 and went on to college at UCLA (University of California, Los Angels) where he was the very first athlete to win varsity letters in baseball, basketball, football and track. However in 1941 Robinson had to leave UCLA because of financial hardship.Robinson then moved to Honolulu, Hawaii where he played football for the Honolulu Bears. However his season with Bears ended when World War II began.
Robinson was a second lieutenant in the Army from 1942- 1944. Robinson never had to enter combat during his time in the army however at one point Robinson was arrested for refusing to move to the back of a bus (this was during segregation) during training. The charges were later dismissed and Robinson was given an honorable discharge from the Army. After Robinson left the army he began to play professional baseball.At the time African- Americans and whites played on separate leagues. Robinson played on the Negro Leagues but was soon asked by Branch Rickety, who was the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers to help form major league baseball. He then joined the Montreal Royals, an affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers, in 1 946 that had all white players.
He moved to Florida to train with the Royals and played his first game on April 15, 1947 in Beets Field for the Brooklyn Dodgers. It was not easy playing on an all white league. Robinson was often erased and received threats.His team members and the opposite team members often threatened not to play if Robinson played on their team. But the Dodgers manager Leo Drencher stood up for Robinson. His loyalty to Robinson helped him through the rest of his career with the Dodgers. Even though Robinson was harassed by many for most of his career he was able to ignore it and show the world what a talented player he was.
In his first year he hit 12 home runs and helped the Dodgers win The National League pennant and he was selected as Rookie of the Year.