Monday, April 15, 2013

Jackie Robinson Day 2013

by Gregg Chadwick

Jackie Robinson 

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."
-Jackie Robinson
Today marks the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jackie Robinson was the first African-American baseball player to compete in the major leagues when he joined the Dodgers in 1947. Robinson broke baseball's color line and ended a sixty year era of segregation in professional baseball. Robinson's career with the Dodgers lasted only ten years. But in that time, he won six pennants and a World Series title. Robinson retired in 1957 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

I was heartened to see that the new film "42", based on Robinson's momentous debut, has exceeded box office expectations. Today in honor of Robinson, every player in Major League Baseball  will wear Jackie Robinson’s No. 42. 

Rachel Robinson at the stadium. 
(From Spike Lee's documentary on Baseball and Jackie Robinson)

Rachel Robinson, Jackie's wife, had vivid memories of April 15, 1947:
"It was an exciting, exhilarating time — but it also was a stressful time," Rachel Robinson said.
Rachel and Jackie met while they both were students at UCLA. Rachel Robinson earned a degree in nursing from the UCSF School of Nursing in 1945 before marrying Jackie in 1946. A few years after Jackie Robinson's retirement from baseball, Rachel returned to school and earned a masters degree from New York University. In 1965 Rachel became an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Yale University.
Jackie Robinson during his collegiate years at UCLA played football,
ran track, was the leading scorer on the basketball team, and played baseball.

More on Jackie Robinson and Rachel Robinson at:

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