Beets Field, Brooklyn. Many people crowd to the field to see one man, the first black person to ever play in major league baseball. He is setting new standards for all blacks past, present, and future.
His name is Jack Roosevelt Robinson. This time it was unheard of to have a black person treated equally to a white person, even more unlikely to have a black person play on the same field as a white.But, for one man who stands alone, it was Jackie Robinsons conquest to break through the color barrier tit the help of Branch Rickety, who has set new standards for all black athletes to come. Jackie Robinson grew up in Cairo, Georgia. Attending UCLA Jackie played baseball, basketball, football, and ran track. After college Jackie enrolled in World War Two. After the war Jackie received an honorable discharge.
When the war ended Robinson was unsure of what he wanted to do and he was very short on money.
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Finally, Jackie decided he wanted to join the Negro Leagues. In 1944 Jackie officially joined a Negro baseball team. (Short, Russell p. 5-10). In 1945, Branch Rickety, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers was looking for a black player to break the segregation barrier and join the Major League Baseball Association. Rickety said that whoever the person was to be would have to cope with taunts and insult, and name calling and abuse.
Rickety heard of the success of Jackie on the Negro League and sent scouts to see Jackie. (Ritter, S. Lawrence p. 43-51).After a long meeting with Rickety, Jackie agreed to join the Brooklyn Organization. Rickety signed Robinson to a Minor League deal in 1945. Now, Jackass’s biggest challenge would be to overcome racial issues sought toward him without acting out.
He ad to accomplish this task with everybody looking at him due to his new fame. Jackie received death threats, racial slurs, and people wanting to seriously take him out of the game of baseball. (Ramped, Arnold p. 176). In 1 947, Rickety called up Jackie to compete on a Major League level and take his career to a much higher level.When people heard the news that Jackie was going to play on a Major League level, players claimed if Jackie was going to play they would strike, even some Of Jackass’s teammates demanded to be traded. During one of Jackass’s games, a barrage of racial insults were directed award him from the fans in the grandstand.
(Ritter, S. Lawrence p. 46). The discrimination continued off the field. When the Dodgers played on the road Jackie wasn’t allowed to stay in the same hotels has his teammates. He would have to stay in a hotel just for blacks or he had to stay in private homes by himself.In one case Jackie was allowed to stay in the same hotel has his team but he wasn’t allowed beyond the pool room and he had to eat his food in his room.
(Faulkner David p. 167-1 68). Toward the end of the season things were finally starting to look up. Jackass’s wife was making friends with the other layers’ wives, and Jackie finally got the respect from his teammates, many people were beginning to feel what it was like to be Jackie Robinson. “Robinson won fans over because he could rouse them, but he also won over his team, his league, and the nation, not only by being a lion but by having to be a lamb”. (Faulkner, David p. 73).
Although having many friends now, Jackie will never forget his longtime friends Pee Wee Reese and Ralph Branch, who stood by him when nobody else did. Things kept getting better and better for Jackie, the pitches at his head when he was up to bat had stopped, cost of the racial slurs had stopped, and Jackie was finally being treated like a real baseball player, not like a black person. Jackie lead the league in steals, ranked second in runs scored, and won the Rookie of the Year Award, which was later renamed the Jackie Robinson Award. That year Jackie also led his team to a World Series appearance.Nearly a year after Jackie had first broke the segregation barrier many other teams were catching on. Rickety signed Roy Campanile, a star from the Negro Leagues. By this time almost every team had at least one black player on it.
At this time most fans had come to edge a player by its ability not the color the color of their skin. (Short, Russell p. 22-24). Jackie was still fighting on and continued to still be a great player but now he was able to voice his opinion and act just like every other baseball player should without having such severe consequences.In 1 949 Jackie won the National League batting championship and was voted the league’s Most Valuable Player that same year. During Jackass’s ten years with the Dodgers he led them to six World Series appearances and was a supported base runner leading the National League twice in stolen bases and still having the respect of everyone. Short, Russell p.
24-25). Jackie had everything he ever wanted but he still felt unfulfilled. He decide to spend some of his time helping blacks in as many ways has he can.He turned his attention to Harlem and donated money where ever he could. He got together with the director of the YMCA of Harlem and suggested things that he could do and other people could do to better the YMCA program. During the 1948 season, Rudolph Thomas, director of the YMCA asked Jackie to sign on as a coach for the YMCA Jackie accepted immediately and Roy Campanile signed on too, to offer his support any way he could. (Faulkner, David p.
83-190). In 1956 Jackie knew his baseball career was coming to an end, he decided he would retire at the end of the year.His legs weren’t as great as they used to be, and the weight of the bat felt so heavy in Jackass’s hands. That year, Walter Maloney surprised Jackie, saying he was traded to the New York Giants, but Jackie came back saying he was retiring. Robinsons retirement was controversial because it was shrouded in secrecy and politics, just like his signing in 1945. After that year the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to L. A.
And for many people when Jackie retired they said that it was an end of a great era or baseball and it will never be forgotten. (David Faulkner p. 249, Short, Russell p. 24-25).Jackie Robinson was a great man who rose above the segregation barrier, all the problems he endured set new standards for all blacks everywhere to come by gaining the respect of everyone. This paper was a very interesting project for me to do. First, I chose this project because I enjoy the sport of baseball.
I have played softball since kindergarten. I enjoy anything and everything about the sport, both baseball and softball. I could watch either one for hours on end! I have learned about Jackie Robinson before in various history classes and such, but it was nice to focus on just him for a change.Doing research I felt as if I received in depth information on Robinsons life instead of just one measly paragraph at school that just talks about how he was black and played baseball. I have very much enjoyed the class Ethnic and Cultural Diversity. Sure I needed it for my college credit but I took it now to learn about all the diversity we encounter in today’s society. I would have no doubt taken this class even if not needed! I have always cared about the diversity experience in my life and have always anted to learn more.
Wish I could have been around during the time of Jackie Robinsons life.I think it would have been cool to see him play. However, if I was around during Robinsons life and was white I would have been racist like everyone else, it was the norm. That makes me upset to think about because I am not racist and I could never see myself being racist towards anyone. Although probably would have been racist it would still have been cool to see Jackie Robinson play. He was a strong person, continuing to persevere despite all the racism, hate, slurs, and threats he encountered in the beginning of his career.