Jackson: Jackie Robinson first made his mark in minor leagues

From SABR member Josh Jackson at MiLB.com on January 31, 2019:

Thursday marks 100 years since the birth of perhaps baseball’s greatest hero. Jackie Robinson’s lifetime of accomplishment was so remarkable that to consider a single aspect of it undermines the whole. To focus on him as a socio-political figure is to risk forgetting he was one of the most electric ballplayers who ever lived, one whose play changed baseball. To focus on him as an athlete is to fail to acknowledge that he stands as one of the most important Americans of the 20th century.

In integrating America’s pastime at the big league level with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, Robinson contributed to the Civil Rights Movement before many in the United States knew such a thing existed. It was a cause he further advanced through his comportment on the field in the face of bitter, brutal racism, through a corporate career after he’d finished playing and an active political life for most of his lifetime.

As a student at Pasadena Junior College, he was arrested for standing up to a police officer he thought was harassing a friend. At UCLA, he was one of four black players on the football team and the school’s first student-athlete to letter in four sports. As a young soldier, he decried institutional racism in the Army and was court-martialed. And obviously as a big leaguer, he helped the game of baseball be reborn with modernization both inside and outside the lines.

Read the full article here: https://www.milb.com/milb/news/jackie-robinson-first-made-his-mark-in-the-minor-leagues/c-301588624

Originally published: January 31, 2019. Last Updated: January 31, 2019.