MLB Jackie Robinson Day

Every year on April 15, Major League Baseball (MLB) celebrates Jackie Robinson’s birthday. In 1947, Robinson was the first baseball player to break the color barrier in the MLB. Every year all of the players and coaches in the MLB wear Robinson’s jersey number (42).

Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born on April 15, 1929 in Cairo, Ga. According to Jackie Robinson’s official website, Maillie Robinson, raised him and his four siblings as a single mother. Six months after Jackie was born his mother moved the family to Pasadena, Calif. to escape prejudice. After high school, Robinson attended the University of California, Los Angeles. He went on to become the first athlete to get a varsity letter in four sports; baseball, football, basketball, and track. However, due to his family’s financial struggles he had to leave college early and join the Army. While in the Army, he was promoted to second lieutenant. In 1944, Robinson was court martialed and honorably discharged from the Army after he refused to move his seat on an Army bus.

After his career in the Army, he played for one season in the Negro Leagues for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1945. In 1947, the late Branch Rickey offered Robinson a contract to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson had accepted the contract and later that year, Robinson broke the color barrier for the MLB. After his rookie season, he won rookie year for the National League. Then in 1949 he won MVP for the National League, and then in 1955 he went on to win the world series with the Dodgers.

After Robinson retired from baseball in 1957, and on Oct. 24 1972 he died from a sudden heart attack at the age of 53.