Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson

United States

Robinson became the first African American to play in the major leagues in the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base on April 15, 1947. The Dodgers, by playing Robinson, ended racial segregation that had relegated black playersto the Negro leagues since the 1880s.[2] Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.[3]

Robinson had an exceptional 10-year baseball career. He was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, was an All-Star for six consecutive seasons from 1949 through 1954, and won theNational League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949—the first black player so honored.[4][5] Robinson played in six World Series and contributed to the Dodgers' 1955 World Series championship. In 1997, MLB "universally" retired his uniform number, 42, across all major league teams; he was the first pro athlete in any sport to be so honored. MLB also initiated and adopted for the first time on April 15, 2004, a new annual tradition, "Jackie Robinson Day", on which every player on every team wears No. 42 on April 15.

Robinson's character, his use of nonviolence and his unquestionable talent challenged the traditional basis of segregation which then marked many other aspects of American life. He had an impact on the culture and contributed significantly to the Civil Rights Movement.[6][7] Robinson also was the first black television analyst in MLB, and the first black vice president of a major American corporation, Chock full o'Nuts. In the 1960s, he helped establish the Freedom National Bank, an African-American-owned financial institution based in Harlem, New York. In recognition of his achievements on and off the field, Robinson was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom.