31 Interesting Jackie Robinson Facts

Jackie Robinson is celebrated by America’s Major League Baseball every year on the same date. He’s one of the most widely recognized baseball players. If you don’t know why, now is a good opportunity to find out.

April 15 is an important date. It’s Jackie Robinson’s day. 67 years ago, he became the first African-American to be part of an important baseball team. But more on that later. Let’s concentrate on his biography. We’ll include his childhood and later years below, as well as many interesting facts:

  1. Jackie was born in Cairo, Georgia. He saw the light of day on January 31, 1919. He was born as Jack “Jackie” Roosevelt Robinson. Jackie had 3 brothers and 1 sister. Their names: Willa Mae, Matthew “Mack”, Frank, and Edgar. He got his middle name from Theodore Roosevelt, one of America’s former presidents;
  2. Jackie’s mom raised her children by herself;
  3. Later on, he went to John Muir High School. It was there that Jack met Bob Lemon and Ted Williams; each of them would become stars in their own right. Tennis was another sport he enjoyed playing. This brought him a win in the Pacific Coast Negro Tennis Tournament (as it was called back then);jackie-robinson-facts
  4. Jackie Robinson would then enroll at Pasadena Junior College. A remarkable athlete, he enjoyed playing baseball, basketball, football, and track. At 19, Jackie received this distinction: Most Valuable Player in baseball;
  5. Jackie continued his studies by attending the University of California in LA. He was the first to become the winner of varsity letters in 4 sports;
  6. He couldn’t graduate college because of money problems. After leaving the university in 1941, Jackie settled in Honolulu;
  7. There, he played for a football team called Honolulu Bears. World War II started soon afterwards, so Jack Robinson had to enter military duties. He was second lieutenant in the US Army for 2 years (1942-1944);
  8. Just like Rosa Parks, he didn’t give his bus seat to a white passenger. Because of this, Jackie appeared in front of a military court following his arrest. He soon received an honorable discharge in 1944;
  9. In fact Jackie became a professional baseball player in 1944. He started in the Negro Leagues. 2 years later, Robinson was recruited for this team: the all-white Montreal Royals;
  10. 1947 was when Jackie’s first baseball game took place. This marked the first time a black player took part in the major leagues;
  11. During his time on the team, Jackie was subjected to racial insults; his family and himself were threatened by racists. This didn’t stop him from subsequently promoting with this team: the Dodgers. During one of the numerous racists situations he encountered, the team’s captain – Pee Wee Reese – showed his support for Jackie by putting an arm around him in front of the crowd, saying “You can hate a man for many reasons. Color is not one of them.”;
  12. During the first season, Robinson was pivotal in Dodgers’ win of the National League flag;
  13. In 1947, he won this award: Rookie of the Year. 2 years later, Jackie was awarded this distinction: the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award;
  14. From 1949 to 1954, Robinson was a six time All-Star. Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Satchel Paige were all inspired by him to become professional baseball players;
  15. In 1949, Jackie Robinson testified on racial discrimination before the United States House of Representatives’ Committee on Un-American Activities;
  16. A biopic called The Jackie Robinson Story came out in 1950. He played himself in this movie;
  17. He was active in both political and social causes. 2 years later, Jackie accused the Yankees of racism;
  18. The Dodgers won the World Series in 1955 against the New York Yankees with great help from Jackie;
  19. After yet another National League victory, he went to the New York Giants;
  20. Jackie retired in 1957. After his retirement, Robinson became the executive for this coffee company and restaurant chain: the Chock Full O’ Nuts. He lend a helping hand for the establishing of Freedom Bank;
  21. In 1962, Jackie was featured in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was the first African-American to receive this induction. He was also on the board of the NAACP;
  22. His uniform number, which was 42, was retired in 1972;
  23. Jackie died on October 24 1972 in Connecticut. His wife, Rachel Isum, created this after his death: the Jackie Robinson Foundation. The couple had 3 children; only two of them live;
  24. In 1960, Jackie supported Richard Nixon in that year’s presidential elections. However, he became a Democrat later on;jackie-robinson
  25. A prominent Civil Rights figure, Robinson was close friends with Larry Doby. The latter played on the Cleveland Indians;
  26. In 1965, Jackie was the first African-American to work as an analyst of TV sports. 7 years later, he became a commentator for the Montreal Expos;
  27. While playing for the Dodgers, Jackie lived in Brooklyn, NY. In 1976, his house was turned into a National Historical Landmark;
  28. There’s a less known fact about him; there’s an asteroid called after this great baseball player: “4319 Jackierobinson.” It was named thus in 1981;
  29. 3 years later, the Presidential Medal of Freedom was posthumously awarded to him by Ronald Reagan;
  30. A Major League Baseball All-Century Team was compiled in 1999. Jackie was one of the selected players;
  31. Aore than 2 years after that, Robinson received the Congressional Gold Medal.

We hope these interesting facts have made you a fan of Jackie Robinson!

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