Jackie Robinson Essay

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Throughout his professional career, Jackie Robinson, received criticism for being the first “black” player to play the game. Not only did Jackie Robinson manage to live up to the criticism, he also changed the face of America’s greatest past time forever. With his entrance into the MLB he opened the path for great black players like Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays, and Ozzie Smith just to name a few. In crossing the color-barrier in baseball Robinson not only strived as a great player on the field, but also a inspiration to the black community of the field with his humility, and willingness to move forward in a time where blacks were not considered “equal”.
Jackie Robinson was one of the most profound individuals to ever walk
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In the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, Mack won the silver metal in the 200m-hurdle (13). Learning to deal with criticism early was a major contribution to his success in life. He and his friends would be called racial names while just trying to play baseball at the local park (Kahn 10).
Not long after the family moved to Pasadena, California Robinson’s mother enrolled him into Pasadena Junior College. At Pasadena Junior College Robinson set a National Junior College record in the long jump of 25’ 6 ½” (Ringer 22). After only one year at Pasadena Junior College Robinson received an athletic scholarship to the University of California, Los Angeles (23). There, Robinson became the first Bruin athlete to earn varsity letters in four sports (25). Robinson was a standout in football, baseball, basketball and track (26). After three years of college Robinson left college to work to support his mother (29). He was one of four African American players on the 1939 UCLA Bruins football team. This was not normal to have so many African Americans when only a few dozen at all played on college football teams. Later, Robinson went on to play semi-pro football in Honolulu. Several months later, Pearl Harbor was bombed, and he enlisted in the U.S. Army (31). In the Army Robinson completed Officer Candidate School and became a Second Lieutenant (34). In 1944 Robinson faced a court-martial for refusing to move to the rear of an Army bus (42).

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