Jackie Robinson essay

Jackie Robinson Jackie Robinson is one of the many innovative heroes, who have shaped the last century. Jackie Robinson grew up in a time, where segregation affected all African Americans. African Americans like many other races, were segregated from white people in every way, they were told where they could live, work and eat. When Jackie was growing up his mother taught all her children that if they worked hard in life they should expect good things to happen. In his early childhood, this motto was hard to except as reality.
At an early age, Jackie was introduced to discrimination, which was based upon his skin color. The Robinson family moved from Georgia to Pasadena, California, and there, they were one of the few black families in the entire city. At first, the neighbors were not fond of the idea of having another black family move into their city. They feared for their families as if there presence was substantial to a disease. The Robinson’s loved to play outside, numerous times white families would call the police because they didn’t like it when the kids interacted with their own or even see the children outside.
Jackie, like one of the many other African Americans were forced to learn a hard lesson, people with dark skin were treated differently from white people. As soon as Jackie was old enough, without even knowing, he was pursuing his future as a civil rights activist. Jackie and his friends despised the laws that prohibited Hipics, Asians and African Americans from swimming in the public pools, except for one day a week. Jackie and his friend’s did just the opposite and were thrown in jail, many assumed that this was the beginning of a troublesome boy, but actually, it marked the beginning of a young man standing up for what he believes in.

Sports also played a part; African Americans were to play in a league of their own, separated from white players. Jackie, like his brothers, had a bright future in sports. Jackie attended UCLA and became famous on campus, where he ran track and played football, basketball and baseball. College is also where he met his future wife Rachel Isum, who was a nursing student, who also attended UCLA. After college, Jackie went on to play semi professional football with the Honolulu Bears in Hawaii.
His team was successful and when the season was over Jackie sailed back to California. Two days later Japan bombed the navy base at Pearl Harbor and the United States entered World War II. Young, strong men were drafted into the army, and for Jackie this meant he had to put his life on hold. Inserted into the U. S army, he was sent straight to basic training at Fort Riley, Kansas in 1942. Once Robinson had graduated from basic training, he wanted to be more than the guy who cared for the horses; he wanted to be an officer.
At the time, black soldiers were allowed only to serve in black units. He discovered white men could attend officer training with the same education as he had. Jackie thought this was unfair and asked Joe Louis (the world heavyweight Champion) if he could do anything? Shortly after, the army allowed Jackie and several other black soldiers to train for the position of an officer. Jackie graduated in 1943 with a gold bar, which made him now a second lieutenant. A year later, Jackie was honorably discharged from the Unites States army.
Preceding this Jackie went back to sports; he played on the best-known Negro team in the nation, the Kansas City Monarchs. Jackie played shortstop for the Monarchs, they traveled everywhere, and the team was always on the road playing against different teams in different towns. This challenged the team because it was often hard to find hotels that would accept African Americans, as well as dining, but none the less the team managed. Talk about the Monarchs had begun to spread everywhere, and soon enough scouts from the Major League teams came to watch them play.
The most important sports man, in Rickey’s life had caught word of this lightning fast kid who also knew how to hit. Jackie was invited to New York for a meeting with Branch Rickey, to talk about his future. Little did he know, Branch was looking for a “ballplayer with the guts enough to fight back” –Branch Rickey. He wanted someone who could stand up to the taunts, names, fights and the beanballs. Then Branch Rickey asked Jackie Robinson the one question he had been waiting for, would you like to become a Brooklyn Dodger?
Jackie knew that his answer would not only change his life, but perhaps it would change the course of history. He believed he could takedown this challenge and signed a contract with Rickey to play on the Brooklyn Dodgers minor league team, the Montreal Royals. If he did well, Jackie would move up to play with the Dodgers in the National League. Jackie’s fist game, he played second base, and his first time up at the plate Jackie launched one right over the left field fence.
His teammates realized that he could help them win, and their relationships began to grow. Jackie realized quickly that he was going to need all the help he could get and felt comfort knowing that most of his teammates were behind him. Jackie faced trouble along the way; teams declared they would not show up to play if the Royals brought Jackie. The team also faced angry mobs that would threaten the team but mainly Jackie and his family. Nonetheless, the Royals had a winning season and headed to the Little World Series to play against the Louisville Colonels.
It was certain that Louisville was not going to refuse to play, but they closed part of the black seating so that black fans could come to the game. That did not stop the team from winning, the Royals took the title and Jackie was the first Royal ever to win the batting crown. Jackie had a batting average of . 349, scored 113 runs and stole 40 bases. That would be his first and last season with the Royals, the following year Jackie made it into the big leagues. Jackie broke the color barrier as the first African American to play professional baseball.
However, at first, it was not so glamorous for Jackie, just as if Branch Rickey could read the future, there was name-calling and insults toward Jackie. He persisted through all of this, and then in 1947 the Dodgers became League Champions. Jackie also won the Rookie of the year award in 1947; this was the beginning of an all-star career. In the 1949 season Jackie had the highest batting average in the league, . 342 and led the league in the most stolen bases. He also received the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award that year.
Jackie played for the Brooklyn Dodgers for ten years and of that time they won the National League Championship six times, and in 1955 they won the World Series. A year later Jackie Robinson retired from professional baseball at the age of 37. Jackie continued to work for civil rights alongside Dr. Martin Luther King and many other civil rights activists. Seven years after his retirement to baseball, Jackie Robinson was announced as the first African American to be elected into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Jackie Robinson died in 1972 at the age of 53, leaving behind his great legacy of ending segregation in Professional baseball. Jackie Robinson gave courage to other men and women to fight against segregation in other sports and in life. Althea Gibson became the first African American to play tennis in the U. S nationals and win the championship. Willie O’Ree was the first African American to play in the National Hockey League (NHL). Many more like Althea Gibson and Willie O’Ree proceeded to break the color barrier.

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