- 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. Many white fans and players wanted baseball to stay all white. But Robinson made a promise to Brooklyn Dodgers’ president Branch Rickey: he wouldn’t respond to any attacks. Sadly, there were many attacks.
Some players on his own team signed a petition to protest his hiring. Fans yelled insults at him. Pitchers threw balls at his head. Some players aimed their spikes at him when they slid into a base. People sent threatening letters. But Jackie Robinson kept his promise. He may have been hurt and angry, but he didn’t fight back. Instead, he just 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 more than a great player. He showed that he was a great man.