Jackie Robinson

1707 Words Apr 12th, 2002 7 Pages
Baseball has always been America's national pastime. In the early and all the way into the mid 50's, baseball was America and America was baseball. The only thing lacking in the great game was the absence of African American players and the presence of an all white sport. America still wasn't friendly or accepted the African American race and many still held great prejudice towards them. All this would change when the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey decided he was going to sign a Negro player. Jackie Robinson was that player and Jackie Robinson changed the game, America, and history. By looking specifically at his childhood adversity, college life and the hardships he encountered by becoming the first black player in …show more content…
In November 1944, he was passing by a field in Kansas City where the Negro league team, the Kansas City Monarchs was playing and he thought, why not? The Negro Leagues were depleted of talent because of the war so they accepted Jackie with open arms. This is where Jackie would build his legend as he blossomed into a star. In 1946, Branch Dickey decided he was going to break the barrier and sign a Negro league player, the only question was who? Josh Gibson was the best talent but had a history of tempers, anger, and abuse. Satchel Paige was the best pitcher but they felt he was too old. When Rickey began to watch Jackie, he noticed his speed and ability to take over a game. Rickey also knew Robinson was an educated man and grew up with lots of racism, so he felt like Robinson could handle the absolute hell he would have to take by breaking the barrier (Daniels 167).

Robinson didn't really understand why Rickey wanted to sign him and not Gibson, who is considered by many as the greatest power hitter of all time. Rickey managed to sell Robinson on the idea, after Jackie didn't act to interested. Robinson finally signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and then all hell broke lose. The instant it hit the paper, mail poured into Robinson, most of it death threats. "You gonna die n*****, you step foot on that field", "we can hang you to", and "you won't make it off the bus you sorry n*****." (Tygiel 212). Robinson's main concern was his teammates and how they

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