When it comes to professional sports in America, no athlete has represented the idea of progress more than Jackie Robinson. When Robinson was called up to the majors by Branch Rickey and the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, it marked the first time since the 1880s that a black player had been allowed to play for a major league team. Robinson's status as a black player in the majors isn't the only reason he is remembered today. He was a great player, winning the 1947 Rookie of the Year, 1949 NL MVP and batting title, a 6x all-star and 1955 World Series Champion. Interestingly, in college at UCLA, baseball was Robinson's worst sport. He won the 1940 college national championship for the long jump and was a star member of the football team.
Jack Roosevelt 'Jackie' Robinson (January 31, 1919 October 24, 1972) was an American baseball player who became the first black Major League Baseball (MLB) player of the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. As the first black man to play in the major leagues since the 1880s, he was instrumental in bringing an end to racial segregation in professional baseball, which had relegated black players to the Negro leagues for six decades. Signs of racial discrimination in professional sports continued to decline over the latter half of the twentieth century. The example of his character and unquestionable talent challenged the traditional basis of segregation, which then marked many other aspects of American life, and contributed significantly to the Civil Rights Movement. In addition to his cultural impact, Robinson had an exceptional baseball career.
Contributions by Alhutch, WikiDon, and Gareth Owen.