American baseball player Jackie Robinson (1919 - 1972) during his time with the Brooklyn Dodgers, 28th August 1949. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

April 15th is Jackie Robinson Day in the MLB.

This tradition has been going on since 2004 on the 57th anniversary of Robinson’s debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Every year all teams wear 42 on this day and this year the number will be in Dodger blue no matter what team it is. The teams will also have 42 patches on their uniforms and hats.

Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia 1919. His mother raised him and his four other siblings by herself. Jackie was great at sports early in life. He went on to attend UCLA where he had varsity letters in four sports: baseball, football, basketball, and track. Robinson enlisted into the Army after financial difficulties at school. In two years Robinson was the second lieutenant but his time was cut short in the Army. He was court-martialed due to objections to incidents of racial discrimination. Jackie ended up leaving the Army with an honorable discharge.

Jackie played one season with the Kansas City Monarchs in 1945 in the Negro Baseball League. The Major Leagues last had an African-American in 1889 that is when the league had gone segregated. When Robinson entered the league in 1947 he had pioneered integration in American athletics. Robinson broke the color barrier in the nation’s top sport at the time challenging segregation in both the north and south.

Jackie Robinson In Action

American professional baseball player Jackie Robinson (1919 – 1972) of the Brooklyn Dodgers, dressed in a road uniform, crouches by the base and prepares to catch a ball, 1951. Throughout the course of his baseball career Robinson played several positions on the infield as well as serving as outfielder. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

At the end of his rookie year, Robinson was named the National League Rookie of the Year. He led the league in stolen bases at 29, hit 12 home runs, and had a batting average of .297. In 1949, he was named the NL Most Valuable Player of the Year and won the batting title with a .342 average. Robinson had great success in the league and paved the way for so many behind him. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.


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