STEP "Up To Bat"... Negro Leagues Baseball

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This month, Jackie Robinson is Up to Bat. Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier when he made his historic MLB debut. Here’s the pitch!

  • Born: January 31, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia
  • Died: October 24, 1972 in Stamford, Connecticut
  • Duration of Career: 1945 – 1956
  • Teams played for: Kansas City Monarchs, Brooklyn Dodgers (Major Leagues)
  • Main positions played: SS in Negro Leagues, 2B and 1B in Major Leagues
  • Before starting his baseball career, Robinson served in the Army from 1942 – 1944.
    • During his last year of service, he was court-martialed for not moving to the back of a segregated bus. Robinson had always strongly objected to segregation. 
  • Jackie Robinson started his career in the Negro Leagues in 1945 for the Kansas City Monarchs. That was his first and only year playing in the Negro Leagues before he was recruited to the Major Leagues!
  • While playing for the Monarchs, Branch Rickey, the president of the Brooklyn Dodgers at the time, recognized Robinson’s talent and promptly recruited him to play in Major Leagues.
    • Robinson played for the Dodgers’ farm team for a year before joining the main team and debuting on April 15th, 1947. This day would go down in history and is still celebrated to this day as Jackie Robinson Day. 
  • Robinson being recruited to the Major Leagues was important for so many reasons. It signified a breaking of the color barrier that existed between African Americans and other races in the sports world. After Robinson was allowed into the Major Leagues, it set the stage for other African American players to join as well.
  • In 1956, the Dodgers traded Robinson during the off-season. He decided to retire that same year after having a successful career and leading the Dodgers to multiple pennants. 

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