College papers help


Challenges in the life of the baseball player jackie robinson

When he broke the color barrier in 1947, he faced harsh treatment from his own teammates, as well as players on opposing teams. Source When Jackie Robinson took his position at first base at Ebbets Field on April 15, 1947, the history of America was changed forever.

Becoming the first African-American in Major League Baseball in the 20th century, Robinson faced harsh criticism from fans, other players, and even his own teammates.

As the season waned, however, the criticism diminished, and the praise grew. Louis Cardinals may have attempted to strike rather than play on the same field as a black man.

Many people looked to baseball to find that normalcy, since the game had been there for more than 50 years, but an African-American player changed that. But, if there was one player to overcome it all, that player certainly was Jackie Robinson. Roots Born on January 31, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia, Jack Roosevelt Robinson was transplanted to California because his mother thought her children would have a better life there than in the strictly segregated south.

The family struggled through the depression years when Jackie became a teenager, which was the same time he discovered his athletic prowess because his brother, an Olympian, inspired him to try sports. Robinson became a four-sport athlete at John Muir Technical High School, competing in football, basketball, baseball, and track.

Breaking Baseball's Color Barrier

He would later take his sports fame to Pasadena Junior College before enrolling at UCLA, where he would become the first athlete in university history to letter in four sports during his first year. He met his future wife, Rachel, at the college in 1941, and they would get married following his brief stint in the military.

During his military career, Robinson nearly ruined his chance to become the first black player in professional baseball. On July 6, 1944, Robinson was on a military bus which was taking him to Camp Hood army base in Texas. While the state still abided by Jim Crow bus segregation, the military had recently adopted desegregated buses, a policy Robinson knew about.

After refusing to move to the back of the bus, Robinson and the bus driver, Milton N.

  1. Roots Born on January 31, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia, Jack Roosevelt Robinson was transplanted to California because his mother thought her children would have a better life there than in the strictly segregated south.
  2. Death Threats About a month into the 1947 season, Robinson began to receive anonymous, threatening letters. Louis was expected to be one of the roughest cities for Robinson to visit during the season.
  3. It is not that Edwards was not a significant part of the Dodgers run but to say he contributed more than Robinson seems wildly inaccurate.

Renegar, had a heated exchange, which resulted in a call to the military police, commanded by Captain Gerald M. Bear was trying to have Robinson court-martialed because of his activity on the bus, which eventually occurred on July 24. His trial on August 23 quietly ended with his acquittal, but the incident would come to light again when the Dodgers began contemplating signing him.

While he had committed no crime, he had reacted poorly when the incident occurred. At the same time, it was clear he was passionate about his rights as an American citizen, which was also a value needed to break the color line. For Brooklyn Dodgers president and general manager Branch Rickey, the question about Robinson was whether his intelligence would allow him to keep his temper in check while still displaying the strength needed to overcome the taunts he would hear from fans and other players?

This question was deliberated carefully when Robinson became a candidate to break the color line. Breaking Baseball's Color Barrier Discussion of allowing blacks into Major League Baseball began after commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who was a strict segregationist, died in 1944. However, some tryouts had been given to players from the Negro Leagues earlier in the 1940s. Happy Chandler, a Kentucky politician at the time, was named commissioner in 1945 and quickly became a friend to those in favor of integration.

Credited by many, even in the 1940s, as a baseball genius, Rickey had already solidified his claim to eternal fame by perfecting the minor league system that is still integral to baseball today.

With the Dodgers struggling when he took control of the team in 1943, Rickey wanted to quickly replenish the team with talent. At that time, the largest untouched pool of players was in the Negro Leagues, which is where Rickey went.

By April 1945, he was already working on a secret plan to place a black player on his club. A known proponent of integration, Rickey explained during a meeting with reporters how the sporadic contract agreements and scheduling of the Negro Leagues were harmful to black players, personally and as ballplayers. One columnist, Ludlow W. However, talent was only part of what Rickey wanted to find in a ballplayer. He had already played on integrated teams in college and did not have a scandalous off-the-field life filled with smoking, drinking, or chasing women.

More importantly, Rickey believed him to be intelligent enough to understand the role he would eventually take in 1947. Once Robinson was pinned as the man for the experiment, he was signed to a minor league contract with the Montreal Royals, the AAA affiliate of the Dodgers, in November of 1945, a time of a great shift in American society. Friends became foes, women were working, the Communist Party was gaining power, and black activists were slowly beginning the Civil Rights Movement.

The game had been a mirror image of society since the turn of the century, with blacks and whites playing separately. It was no secret that the Negro Leagues did not afford the same opportunities the Major Leagues did, but there were few complaints about that until the World War II era when players began to earn tryouts.

That dismissal, as well as several others during the 1940s, showed that baseball was not ready to change during the war years. The post-war attitudes of America allowed Rickey to conduct his experiment, and while some within the game and America opposed it, baseball became one of the first American businesses to become integrated. Prior to the 1947 season, Wendell Smith of The Pittsburgh Courier gave Robinson the chance to write a short column chronicling his journey each week.

In one of his first columns, he wrote about his views on integration. As it turned out, he was right on both accounts. Death Threats About a month into the 1947 season, Robinson began to receive anonymous, threatening letters.

It was never determined who sent the letters, as the signatures and addresses were fake, but they do give an indication of how strictly segregation was enforced in some areas. To tamper with those rules in any form was worth murder to some people. These letters were also good for Robinson in a way because he easily could have become irrational about dealing with the letters, given his past temper issues. We have already got sic rid of several like you. The source of those challenges may have come as a surprise, though.

Internal Uprising Dodgers slugger and right fielder Dixie Walker was one of the most popular and productive players on the team each year. During the offseason, the native Alabaman owned a hardware store back home that he cared deeply about.

Often in 1947, he worried if playing on the integrated Dodgers would affect his business. This sentiment was shared by many other Southern players, even if they did not vocalize them as loudly as Walker did or have any business interests in the South like Walker did.

For as long as the South had existed, Southerners believed blacks were inferior in every aspect of life. Those feelings stayed with them whether they were at home, in the North, or in another country, challenges in the life of the baseball player jackie robinson Rickey did not understand this. No one seems to be certain how it may have started, but in 1947, there was a petition circulated by Brooklyn players who were opposed to having Robinson as a teammate.

It was led by five Southerners, including Walker, and their objective was challenges in the life of the baseball player jackie robinson force Rickey to keep Robinson off the Major League club. Once Rickey got word of the protest, he moved immediately to squash it. In spring training, the Dodgers decided to go to Panama, because Robinson would be treated more fairly there than in the United States. In the middle of the night, when Rickey found out about the petition, he had manager Leo Durocher wake up the players and give a speech about accepting Robinson.

He did admit to having concerns about playing with a black player, which were two-fold. Second, Walker said he faced pressure from family and friends in Alabama to not play with Robinson because he was black. He also said he was not the person who started the petition and claims to have never seen such a thing in the clubhouse.

Never once … did he indicate that he resented my presence on the Brooklyn club. He outlined many of the hardships he faced during his first season in the book. Philadelphia Philadelphia Phillies manager Ben Chapman and his squad faced the Dodgers in just the fifth game of the season.

According to Robinson after the season, the news report was not an exaggeration. This hard and aggressive style of play is something he would become noted for. In addition, Robinson also learned he had supporters after the incident.

COLLECTIONS

That led to an official decision about the incident the week of May 5. On May 9, the Dodgers arrived in Philadelphia for another series with the Phillies. Chapman was warned beforehand to not have another incident with Robinson, to which Chapman obliged.

  1. The National League will go down the line with Robinson no matter what the consequence. In the first game on September 11, Robinson was spiked by Garagiola on a close play at first base during the second inning.
  2. He also won Rookie of the Year in 1947 with a batting average of.
  3. After refusing to move to the back of the bus, Robinson and the bus driver, Milton N.

He even went so far as to pose for a picture with Robinson on the dugout steps in front of a home crowd. Even though there were no Major League clubs in the deep South, each and every team had Southern players, most of who were raised to believe in segregation. Some were stars, some were no-namers, but most all of them were against integration. Rickey knew Robinson would encounter abuse from these players throughout the season and tried his best to prepare him accordingly.

Rickey earned a law degree from the University of Michigan, and he had sought advice from several people regarding how to handle the times when Robinson faced criticism. Louis was expected to be one of the roughest cities for Robinson to visit during the season. The southernmost city in the Major Leagues at the time, St. Louis was home to two clubs: The city never experienced any major race riots, but there was a large-scale riot in East St.

42 Facts About Jackie Robinson

Louis, Illinois in 1917. Louis was far from an integrated city, however, as segregation in housing and business were commonplace there. Louis clubs became the last two Major League teams to eliminate segregated seating. That was just one part of St.

Jackie Robinson's Struggle as the First Black Player in MLB

The first time the teams met was in Brooklyn, and that meeting showed that some Cardinals players felt the Major Leagues should have stayed segregated. The first series, which ran from May 6-8, was the first of several meetings the teams would endure throughout the season. However, when it started, some Cardinal players did not seem interested in playing at all, supposedly starting a strike petition instead of playing on the same field as a black man.

  • Friends became foes, women were working, the Communist Party was gaining power, and black activists were slowly beginning the Civil Rights Movement;
  • He became the second baseball player to receive this accolade after Pittsburgh Pirates Right-Fielder Roberto Clemente in 1973;
  • When Jackie first donned a Brooklyn Dodger uniform, he pioneered the integration of professional athletics in America;
  • The first time the teams met was in Brooklyn, and that meeting showed that some Cardinals players felt the Major Leagues should have stayed segregated;
  • Neither player had impressed at the plate and manager Muddy Ruel said both players were given a fair trial, which were both used to justify their releases;
  • That was just one part of St.

Perhaps a strike was never even discussed among players, but there was definitely some kind of displeasure among Cardinal players. It is believed that St. Louis players were upset about the idea of playing against a Negro in the same way the Brooklyn players were upset about playing with a Negro at the beginning of the season, but there has never been any clear evidence of a petition.

Cardinal owner Sam Breadon did approach National League President Ford Frick before the series began in hopes of quieting the players he had heard making anti-Robinson comments. Frick gave Breadon a statement to read to his players with hopes of getting the situation low key, which it temporarily did. Later on, Breadon and St.

Louis manager Eddie Dyer both denied the charges that existed, insisting the confusion occurred because many National League players were not satisfied that a Negro had infiltrated their league. In the end, every Cardinal player took the field when the series started. Frick issued a statement regarding the supposed incident in St.

You will find that the friends you think you have in the press box will not support you, that you will be outcasts.