The Dangers Of Jackie Robinson And The Civil Rights Movement

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Jackie Robinson made history in 1947 when he broke baseball’s color barrier to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers. A talented and versatile player, Robinson won the National League Rookie of the Year award his first season and helped the Dodgers to the National League championship – the first of his six trips to the World Series. In 1949 Robinson won the league MVP award, and he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. Despite his skill, Robinson faced a barrage of insults and threats because of his race. The courage and grace with which Robinson handled the abuses inspired a generation of African Americans to question the doctrine of “separate but equal” and helped pave the way for the Civil Rights Movement. Jackie Robinson was an important …show more content…
Robinson also moonlighted as a tennis player and even captured a few amateur titles during his summer breaks from school. He later cashed his checks as a pro athlete playing football for the Honolulu Bears and the Los Angeles Bulldogs and continued to nurture his interest in other sports right up until the start of his Major League Baseball career. Only a few months before breaking baseballs color barrier, he was playing pro basketball for the Los Angeles Red Devils. Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Robinson was drafted into the army and assigned to a cavalry unit at Fort Riley, Kansas. In one famous incident in Syracuse, New York, a rival player threw a black cat on the field and chided, “Hey Jackie, there’s your cousin.” After hitting a double and later scoring, Robinson responded, “I guess my cousin’s pretty happy now.” His troubles on the field also found their way into the locker room. A few Brooklyn Dodgers players signed a petition to keep Robinson off their squad, and pitcher Kirby Higbe was traded after he refused to play on an integrated …show more content…
Robinson is remembered as an electrifying base runner—he stole the home base 19 times during his career—but his game also had a less flashy side. Always a team player, Robinson regularly laid down bunts and sacrifice hits to allow his teammates to advance on base or score. His first-ever hit in the Major Leagues was a bunt, and he went on to lead the league with 28 sacrifice hits during his debut season. Of the 46 bunts, Robinson laid down in 1947, all except four resulted in either a base hit or a sacrifice. Robinson often received death threats against himself and his family, but in 1951 the danger seemed so imminent that the Feds were called in to investigate. Shortly before a game in Ohio, a mysterious source calling itself “Three Travelers” sent letters to the police, the Cincinnati Reds and a local paper vowing to shoot Robinson with a scoped rifle as soon as he stepped onto the field. The FBI looked into the matter, but to the fans’ delight, Robinson still played and even belted a home run over the center field

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