75 years after breaking the league’s colour barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie Robinson’s legacy continues to have an impact on Major League Baseball. Robinson was a superstar from the time he walked onto the pitch, thriving despite the scorn and abuse he received from teammates and spectators. In 1997, baseball retired Robinson’s No. 42 across the league, and in 2004, the league instituted Jackie Robinson Day to commemorate his legacy on the anniversary of his debut on April 15, 1947. Every April 15, players, managers, and umpires all wear No. 42 as a homage to Robinson, and each club does so in its own unique style.
This year is particularly significant since it marks the 75th anniversary of Robinson’s first Opening Day. On one of baseball’s most momentous days, tributes came in from players and clubs all across the world. Before we get to that, take a look at some of our favourite Jackie Robinson stories from the last year.
Why does Robinson’s narrative still ring true? “Robinson spent the rest of his life extending his influence to other aspects of American society. He had no intention of ending his advancement at first base, and his post-baseball endeavours became an extension of his Hall of Fame career, striking the corporate conscience, the political elite, and power structures, including MLB “Doug Glanville contributes to this article.
Jackie Robinson’s legacy of success: Only two Black managers are now employed in Major League Baseball, five decades after Robinson’s death. According to William C. Rhoden, there is still a lot of work to be done in that area.
Robinson, how good was he? In the Negro Leagues, he wasn’t the biggest star. Baseball wasn’t even his best sport; in fact, it was probably his seventh. Jackie Robinson’s stats, on the other hand, were remarkable — possibly even more so than you might think. David Schoenfield deconstructs the situation. Continue reading to learn more.
Jackie Robinson wasn’t the only player to break baseball’s colour barrier: Branch Rickey considered players like Roy Campanella, Buck Leonard, and Minnie Minoso before settling on Jackie as his option to break the colour barrier. Continue reading to learn more.
In his own words… Robinson told Ed Fitzgerald about his feelings after winning his first World Series in an excerpt from the November 1956 issue of SPORT Magazine. Continue reading to learn more.
Keeping Robinson’s legacy alive: On Opening Day in 2022, just 7.2 percent of Major League Baseball players are black, down from an all-time high of 18.7 percent in 1981. The only Black double-play combo in the majors, Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and second baseman Josh Harrison, on how they’re working to enhance representation in these times. Continue reading to learn more.
“Jackie to Me”: To commemorate the 75th anniversary of Robinson’s debut, we spoke with Oscar Robertson, Billie Jean King, Jesse Jackson, Chuck D, Willie O’Ree, and others who have been personally influenced and inspired by Robinson’s legacy.
Jackie Robinson is a member of every professional sports team: Robinson did not begin or conclude the integration of the American sports landscape. Over a 20-year span, below is a list of Black or Afro-Latino athletes who successfully integrated all-white professional teams.