- from Jackie Robinson
Branch Rickey had been wanting to hire African American baseball players for a long time.
In 1945, he felt the time was right. All he needed was the right man. Scouts reported on Jackie Robinson’s skill as a ballplayer, but Rickey needed to know about Robinson’s character, so he invited him to a meeting. Rickey vividly described the abuse that Robinson would face if he agreed to play major league baseball. Then he asked if Robinson could take all of that abuse and keep his temper under control. Robinson replied, “Mr. Rickey, are you looking for a Negro who is afraid to fight back?” Rickey replied, “Robinson, I’m looking for a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back.” After thinking about it, Jackie Robinson agreed that he could be that ballplayer.