November 30, 1952 - Jackie Robinson

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Manage episode 179786381 series 1446196
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Jackie Robinson charges New York Yankees with racism. U.S. baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis opposed integration of black and white players. But after his death in 1944, Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey decided to desegregate the major leagues. He wanted to sign more than one black player, but was concerned that would be moving too fast. So he signed Jackie Robinson from the Negro League into the minor leagues in 1946. On April 15, 1947, Robinson became the first African American to play baseball in the major leagues when he was called up to play second base with the Dodgers. He stayed for 10 years, during which he scored many firsts, including the first ever National League Rookie of the Year in 1947 and the first Black National League Most Valuable Player in 1949. Although he was the first to break the race barrier, it wasn’t without opposition. He endured taunts by racist fans and fellow players, but he never took the bait. On November 30, 1952, however, Robinson spoke up on a local TV show, saying that the rival New York Yankees’ management was racist for not hiring black players from the minor leagues. The Yankees denied it, but took until the spring of 1955 to bring their first black player on board: Elston Howard. Robinson died on October 24, 1972 at the age of 53 from heart disease. In March 2004, the commissioner of major league baseball, Bud Selig, proclaimed April 15 “Jackie Robinson Day” throughout the league.

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