Howe: Jackie Robinson’s year with the Kansas City Monarchs

From Jesse Howe at Flatland KC on April 11, 2016, with mention of SABR member Aaron Stilley:

Although Jackie Robinson only spent five months with the Kansas City Monarchs in 1945, he left an everlasting mark on the city. From donning the red and white uniform in April to his final appearance in August of that year, Robinson became a vital member of the team along with the legendary Satchel Paige. Robinson played shortstop while Paige was a for-hire pitcher. The Monarchs, unfortunately, didn’t see playoffs during the ’45 season with its .510 record.

Below is a record of Robinson’s singular season with the Monarchs, including some of the team’s—and history’s—most pivotal moments. The Kansas City Monarchs played 101 games against 18 teams across the East Coast and Midwest. By the end of the season, Robinson had the best average on the team at .375. During this time Robinson was also participating in tryouts for the Major Leagues at the recommendation of noted African-American sportswriter Wendell Smith. Smith played a large role in Robinson signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers and becoming the first African-American player in the Major Leagues.

And while Jackie Robinson will always be best known as a Brooklyn Dodger, for a brief moment he was one of Kansas City’s own.

Read the fu ll article here:

Originally published: April 11, 2016. Last Updated: April 11, 2016.