The Negro Leagues were one of the most important and influential movements to happen in baseball history. Without these ‘Invisible Men’, who knows where baseball’s racial standpoint with not only African American’s, but others such as Cuban, Dominican, and South American players, would be in the Major Leagues. Throughout the book, one pressing theme stays from beginning to end: Segregation.
In order to understand why the integration of baseball was so important, one must understand the importance of baseball during this period. For the past 100 years, baseball could be considered more than the National Pastime and looked at as akin to a national religion. Had Jackie Robinson integrated a different sport such as football or basketball, he would not be remembered today (Gimbel). However, though Robinson possessed incredible talent, there were few people that were willing to draft him, or any African American onto their team. Luckily, sixty-three-year old Branch Ricky recognized that the introduction of African American
The game of baseball evolved immensely during the 1900’s. There were new rules and rule changes, new teams in new states, and then there was Jackie Robinson. Jackie Robinson was a true legend from the day he was born in 1919. Baseball had it all in the first half of the 1900’s, fans filled the stadiums day after day, even during the war times. There was a big-name player on almost every team, children and adults admired these professional baseball players. The only thing professional baseball didn’t have during these times were African American players. Learning about the hardships that he had to overcome as a young boy, and the accomplishments he made from his college days at UCLA, to becoming the first African American professional baseball player, Jackie made it known that he was an American hero.
"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.
The story of Jackie Robinson has become one of America's most iconic and inspiring stories. Since 1947, American history has portrayed Jackie Robinson as a hero, and he has been idolized as a role model to the African American baseball community. It is an unarguable fact that he was the first to tear down the color barriers within professional baseball. The topic of Robinson’s role in integration has long been a point of discussion amongst baseball historians. Researchers have accumulated thousands of accredited documents and interviews with friends and team mates such as short stop, Pee Wee Reese, and team owner, Branch Rickey. However, few journalists have asked why Robinson was selected and what was Branch
When Robinson was selected to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers, by the “General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey” (McBirney 3), he knew it was going to be a bumpy ride. Attempting to break the “color barrier” or let alone play for the Major League takes courage. Despite his fame and how he played on the field, Robinson received “explicit and persuasive death threats” (Scott 2). He also took racism within the stands and even “faced discrimination from a few of his own team members, who threatened to sit out games if he was allowed to play” (McBirney 5). During the games he got things thrown at him like trash, tomatoes, rocks, watermelon slices, and Sambo dolls. But Robinson still showed his courage to continue
Branch Rickey decided to take a leap of faith and do what was viewed as the unthinkable at the time, sign an African-American to a baseball team. In the film there is one scene in particular
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.
In the biography Jackie Robinson and the American Dilemma by John R. M. Wilson, it tells the story of racial injustice done after world war II and explains how Jackie Robinson was pioneer of better race relations in the United States. The obstacles Jackie Robinson overcame were amazing, he had the responsibility to convert the institutions, customs, and attitudes that had defined race relations in the United States. Seldom has history ever placed so much of a strain on one person. I am addressing the importance of Jackie Robinson’s trials and triumphs to American racial dynamics in the post war period to show how Robinson was a prominent figure in the civil rights movement and brought baseball fans together regardless of race.
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.
Jackie was a phenomenal athlete for young kids to look up to. After the start of World War II he served in the military from 1942 to 1944. After the war he returned to his love for baseball, playing in the Black major leagues. He was chosen by Branch Rickey, vice president of the Brooklyn dodgers, to help integrate the Major Leagues. Rickey hated segregation just as much as Robinson and wanted to change things “Rickey had once seen a Black college player turned away from a hotel… Rickey never forgot seeing this player crying because he was denied a place to lay his weary head just because of the color of his skin” (Mackenzie). He was finally able to do something about segregation and help change baseball and the United States for the better. It wasn’t that all the teams were racist and didn’t want a black player but when the major league teams had an away game they would rent out the stadium to the black teams for them to play at. And the executives of teams didn’t want to loose the money that they were making off of the black teams. “League owners would lose significant rental revenue” (“Breaking”). He soon signed with the all-white Montreal Royals a farm team for the Dodgers. Robinson had an outstanding start with the Royals, “leading the International League with a .349 batting average and .985 fielding percentage” (Robinson). After Robinson’s outstanding year he was promoted to the Dodgers he played his first game on
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.
Everyday life for him was having to stay at different hotels, or eat at different restaurants than his teammates. These things put his family at risk, whether it be receiving harsh language, or finding an equitable place to sleep. He knew these segregating laws were not fair, and the risks of safety were high, and still put up with the harsh treatments to prove his point of equality. Despite these things, he knew what he was doing would eventually lead to the full integration of sports. When the manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers gave Robinson the chance to break the unwritten color barrier, he gladly accepted. He would have given anything to show that a black man was just as competent as a white. And he did. In 1981, his wish came true with an estimated 19% of Major League baseball players being African American, a startling change from the previous years.(mlblogs.com) Now, nearly 70 years later, all sports are integrated without a thought to color or race. This accomplishment made a huge difference to the black members of society and to our history in general. Jackie Robinson got his wish, even though he didn't live long enough to see it happen all the way through. Because of him, black players now have an equal opportunity to play and take part in the sports they
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