Baseball has always been more than just a sport to the American people. For many, it is a way of life, teaching not just brute skills but life lessons and morals. In the wake of World War I, racism and bigotry abounded in the United States. Even though the integration of schools had recently been instated, Jim Crow laws severely limited the activity of African Americans in society, resulting in baseball teams being limited to whites. Jackie Robinson made an important step in gaining rights for African Americans when he broke the color barrier of baseball in 1947. He did this by making civil rights his ambition even before the protests began (Coombs 117). Jackie Robinson’s fame as a baseball player and determination to defeat adversity
In 1947 if you were any race other than white could not play in major league baseball. “Jackie Robinson, took the first steps toward integrating the sport's major league teams when he signed a contract to play with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947” (Smith para 1). Jackie Robinson was the first African-American player in the major league baseball. If Jackie Robinson didn’t sign to the Dodgers then who knows how segregated baseball or the world in general would be. The Brooklyn Dodgers were the first to sign an African-American on there team. The Brooklyn Dodger coach ask for Jackie Robinson to come out and talk to him.
Before there were players such as Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Barry Bonds, Major League Baseball was strictly white players only. The color line of Major League Baseball excluded black players until the late 40’s. This didn’t stop the colored men of America from playing the beloved American sport. The creation of the Negro Leagues in 1920 by Rube Foster gave colored men a chance to play in their own professional league, similar to the Major Leagues, but for African-American men. The creation of the Negro Leagues was a result of the Jim Crow Laws, state and local laws enforcing racial segregation in the Southern United States. Enacted after the Reconstruction period in the U.S., these laws continued in force until 1965. These laws created
In the early to mid-1900s, the races in America were characterized by legal segregation because of lingering racism in America. Jackie Robinson worked his entire career not only to become one of the greatest Major League Baseball players, but also to break the color barrier in baseball. Players, coaches, and managers made a “rule” in 1884 that no African-American man could play baseball on a white team (Graf 2). Despite this decision, Branch Rickey (2) decided there needed to be a change and offered Robinson a contract with the LA Dodgers. Robinson questioned himself and questioned why Ricky chose him to break the color barrier. Rickey stated, “Robinson, I’m looking for a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back” (Brown 3).
Since 1839, baseball was a white man’s game. That would all change when Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1942. This would be a major victory for African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement. Before Robinson entered the league, African Americans played in the National Negro League and Whites played in the MLB(Major League Baseball). At this time in history blacks were still fighting for equality every single day. They were segregated by going to different schools than whites, drinking from different water fountains than whites, sitting in the back of the bus, etc. Jackie Robinson was the first black baseball player in a white league and one of the greatest athletes of all time. He was able to achieve this despite
"Over the decades, African American teams played 445-recorded games against white teams, winning sixty-one percent of them." (Conrads, pg.8) The Negro Leagues were an alternative baseball group for African American baseball player that were denied the right to play with the white baseball payers in the Major League Baseball Association. In 1920, the first African American League was formed, and that paved the way for numerous African American innovation and movements. Fences, and Jackie Robinson: The Biography, raises consciousness about the baseball players that have been overlooked, and the struggle they had to endure simply because of their color.
Thesis: Major League Baseball was founded in 1869 and up until April 15, 1947 an African American had never played in the major leagues before and that man was named Jackie Robinson. On that day he did not open the door for other African American athletes. He just maybe turned the knob a little bit which also lead to a new attitude people had towards African Americans no one had ever seen before.
Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby were very determined to stick with the game they loved and to make a change. Thanks to their performance both on and off the ball field, “other owners began to seek talented black players, and by 1952, there were 150 black players in organized baseball” (Branch). Their “actions had repercussions far beyond the sports world” (Jim). The integration of baseball was an enormous smack in the face to all of segregation. Many racial barriers quickly tumbled down with the integration of baseball; restaurants, hotels, and stores removed their “white only” signs bringing blacks and whites together. Robinson and Doby could not have won the battle against segregation on their own, the press helped to make their struggle to be known throughout the country.
Jackie Robinson's entry into the Major Leagues was far from a walk in the park. He climbed over countless obstacles just to play with white men, some of which, he was better then. He not only had to compete with the returning players from the war, but he also contended with racism. "Many towns in the South did not want racially mixed teams"(Weidhorn 53). As time went on, cities realized that Robinson offered them free publicity.
Since the abolition of slavery in the USA in 1883 and through the first half of the 20th Century, African Americans had been in a constant struggle to try and gain an equal footing in society. Like many aspects of American life, black sportsmen were segregated, and no African American had played professional baseball since 1884. For this reason, the integration of Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers as the first African American to play Major League baseball in the modern era had a grand impact on the entire country. From the moment that Dodgers owner, Branch Rickey decided that Robinson would break the colour lone, the history of sport and the history of African Americans would not be the same again. The importance of his integration and the effect it had on civil rights can be looked at in many different ways. It had great effect on the African American community, instilling pride and belief once again in the American Dream for many who had once thought it impossible. It also had significant importance for civil rights groups, and brought about a figure who would fight his peoples quest for equal rights until the day he died. It was a significant risk taken by both Rickey and Robinson, professionally and personally. But it was a risk that both in the short term for African American sport, and in the long run for African American civil rights, was ultimately well worth taking.
Jackie Robinson story is single handedly one of the most inspirational stories about battling segregation laws, and racism. He not only was one of the best baseball players of his time, but he had to play baseball while being the most hated man in the league because of his skin color. Jackie was the first black man to play baseball in a white league for the Brooklyn Dodgers, in 1946 (source 1), he took a very big leap of faith getting himself into that league, well knowing he was going to be treated like a human garbage. He took so much abuse from the league trying to change the views on colored people in the eyes of white people. This seemed like a difficult to impossible task in the 1940’s, but
Jackie Roosevelt Robinson was born on January 31st 1919. In 1947, at the age of 28, Jackie became the first African American to break the “color line” of Major League Baseball when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers. During his tenure with the Dodgers, Jackie was not simply an average player. Among various other accolades, Mr. Robinson was a starter on six World Series teams as well as being named the National League Rookie of The Year in 1947. His advantageous career was then capped in 1962 when he was inducted in the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.1 Contrary to popular belief, Jackie's perseverance in implementing racial integration extended beyond his career in Major League Baseball. During the Sixties Jackie Robinson was a
Jackie Robinson and the women’s baseball team both found their own types of discrimination. Robinson, an African-American in the 1940’s, faced terrible racism. Racism is defined as “poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race” (Merriam-Webster, n.d.). He was assaulted verbally with words such as “coon” and “monkey”, which are derogatory words to how Caucasian people see
The Negro Leagues, baseball leagues for merely black players, allowed urban communities to “pass down the tradition of ‘their’ game 25.” As the Negro leagues ended, baseball’s popularity diminished because it no longer acted as a unique and individualized aspect of African-American culture. The Negro Leagues and the black baseball movement inspired hope as a part of the larger civil rights movement of the 20th century and the black community utilized baseball “as a means of collective identity and civic pride 26.” African- American’s racial advances in baseball signaled the long term success of the larger civil rights movement of the 20th century. As a result, baseball became essential in identifying the progress and identity of African-American culture. Baseball lost its social prevalence after the African-American civil rights movement due to the emergence of other