Jackie Robinson Pasadena’s Hometown Hero
Jackie Robinson made his debut in 1947 with Brooklyn Dodgers. This was after eighty years of baseball segregation. Besides, Jackie played basketball, tennis, as well as track and field. He was the quarterback for the John Muir High School in Pasadena, CA. He enrolled at UCLA as a transfer student from Pasadena City College and made an immediate impact on the ’39 Bruin football team.
His Baseball Card
Just within the last year, a 1952 Jackie Robinson rookie card sold for nearly $90,000. Nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to find an original 1952 rookie card for a few reasons. One, kids played with their cards in the early 1950s. The thought of preserving these small, 2 1/2 by 3 1/2 pieces of paper. Another reason would be the evolution of printing technology. Some cards would not be printed perfectly. Lastly, the distribution process was altered. Instead of a mass distribution, the cards were made available at different times in the season.
Impact Of Jackie Robinson
He made a major impact on Major League Baseball. This is why each season on April 15 each team in the majors celebrates Jackie Robinson Day. This is to honor one who truly broke the color barrier in baseball by becoming the first Afro-American player of the 20th century and taking the field in the big leagues. This way he opened the door for various others and hence is appreciated for contributing to the game.
Robinson had stood up for equal rights. This was before he had done so in baseball. He had been arrested and court-martialed while under training in the Army as he had refused to move towards the back of a segregated bus. But eventually he was acquitted of these charges and had received an honorable discharge. It was then that he started his professional baseball career.
Robinson played as the second baseman for the Kansas City Monarchs which was a part of the Negro Leagues. Then Branch Rickey, who was the general manager of Brooklyn Dodgers decided to integrate baseball. Rickey was keen for Robinson due to his talent, style of play, as well as his demeanor. Rickey was well aware that he was sending Robinson down a tough road. But he also knew that Robinson will be able to handle it all without fighting back. And Robinson was able to endure his teammates as well as the crowds who were opposed to his presence in the game. There were threats to himself as well as his family. But Robinson was able to fight them with honor as well as grace.
In was in 1946 that Robinson joined the Montreal Royals, which was the top farm team of Dodgers. He led the International League with a .349 average along with 40 stolen bases. This is what made him earn a promotion to the Dodgers. This is when he was able to make his major league debut. The date was April 15, 1947. This can be considered as the most eagerly anticipated debut in the annals of the national pastime as it represented the dream as well as the fear of equal opportunity. Hence it was able to change the complexion of the game forever. This led to a change in the attitudes of the Americans.
Once his first season ended, Robinson had been named as the Rookie of the Year. Just two years later in 1949, he was named the NL MVP, when he had led the league in hitting with a .342 average as well as steals with 37. He was also able to notch a career-high of 124 RBI. Do note that the Dodgers had won six pennants in the 10 seasons with Robinson.
Jackie’s impact on his hometown lives on and the state Assembly named a 4.2 mile portion of the 210 Freeway in Pasadena, CA after Robinson. Pasadena, CA has a 140,881 residents who live in the 38 neighborhoods that make it the 40th largest community in California and Pasadena Real Estate ranks as among the most expensive homes in the USA.