GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -- On April 15, 1947 Jackie Robinson shattered the racial barrier when he made his MLB debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Before that players of African descent were not allowed to play in the major leagues and could only play in the Negro leagues.
Every year on April 15 since 2004, baseball honors Robinson’s legacy. In 2009 on April 15, players throughout the MLB would wear Robinson's number, No.42, on their jerseys during games. The coronavirus has cancelled baseball games, but the celebration of Robinson’s legacy isn’t.
The Jackie Robinson foundation has an online national learning hub to learn more about Robinson’s life and career.
Players throughout the league have talked about Robinson on social media and how he has inspired them.
Robinson started his athletic career in high school in Pasadena, California where he played baseball, basketball, track and field, football, and tennis.
He eventually went on to Pasadena Junior College and UCLA.
Robinson was the first athlete at UCLA to letter in four varsity sports. Robinson lettered in basketball, football, track and field (where he was an NCAA champion in the long jump), and of course baseball.
After college he was drafted into the Army in 1942.
Robinson made his way back into baseball in the Negro Leagues in 1945. He then was scouted into the Major Leagues and joined the Brooklyn Dodgers.
In the MLB, Robinson endured lots of racist attacks.
He wasn’t allowed to stay in the same hotels as his teammates. His teammates were often racist against him. Robinson was booed at games, and received many death threats.
All of the negativity didn't stop his success on the field. In Robinson's 10-year MLB career, he won the inaugural Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, was an All-Star for six straight seasons, was the first black player to win the National League's MVP award, he played in six World Series games, and was a member of the Dodgers 1955 World Series Championship team.
Robinson inspired many on and off the field with his activism, athletic success, and peace.