- from Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson made history on April 15, 1947.
That day, he became the first African American to play major league baseball in the twentieth century. He was brave to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Lots of white fans and even players wanted baseball to remain all white. But Robinson promised Dodgers’ president Branch Rickey that he wouldn’t react to any attacks, physical or verbal. Sadly, there were plenty of attacks.
Even players on his own team signed a petition protesting his hiring. People sent threatening letters, and fans yelled insults from the stands. Pitchers threw balls at his head. Other players aimed their spikes at him when they slid into the base he was covering. But Jackie Robinson kept his promise. He might have been hurt and angry, but he didn’t fight back. Instead, he hit the ball as hard and as far as he could, and he kept stealing bases.
By keeping his promise, Jackie Robinson showed the world that he was a great baseball player. More important, he showed that he also was a great man.