Every April 15th, MLB celebrates the “Jackie Robinson day”. It was precisely that date in 1947 when Robinson broke the barrier of “color”, which for many has been the most shocking moment in the history of Major League Baseball. One should also note that this was not only important for the sport but for all that struggle for civil rights in the United States. That first game by Robinson with the Dodgers Brooklyn meant breaking the racial barrier and thus the doors opened so that other players could shine in sports.
Since 1997, when marked 50 years of his debut in the best baseball in the world, all teams started to commemorate that event using the famous No. 42 of the legendary Robinson, whose number was retired in all the big leagues that year, in honor of the man who broke the racial barrier that remained in effect for 63 years.
Back on April 15, 1947, the world was looking at that humble player from the Southern region of the United States. On that day, he boldly broke the barrier of color that was established in the MLB on 1884. Before this date, the Walker brothers (Fleet and Welday), playing for the Toledo Blue Stockings (socks blue) , had been the only ones to play briefly in one major league, in the American Association, another major League of the six that had existed. But after that, a wall which would not allow a black player to wear a major league uniform was established.
Years passed but finally a white Knight name Branch Rickey, Manager and co-owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers, took in his hand the task of innovating the Major Leagues. Despite all the opposition against his idea by the owners of the other teams, he hired a black player changing Major League into the best baseball in the world. Rickey signed Robinson in 1946 and sent him to Montreal to play in the Triple A League team, to help him adapt, considering that he was a baseball player who already had all the tools to play properly in the big tent. However, Rickey considered that this was the best approach to soften the “white” world and prepare it for the historic day.
On April 15, Robinson not only opened their doors to African-Americans but to Afro-Latinos, who also began to show their great natural talent and immense ability to shine in the “King of sports”. In fact, Rickey knew very well of the talent that existed in the Caribbean region. He used to travel a lot to Cuba, where they already played a high caliber baseball in large part with black players.
Robinson’s debut was impressive, his human and athletic skills and abilities were ideal and important to succeed in that elite group, which up until then was for a Caucasian world. At the end of his first season, he was awarded as the rookie of the year, the first time this award was given and it was awarded to only one player in the entire MLB. 0n 1949, he was the most valuable player of the National League, that year he hit .342, connected 16 home runs, 124 RBI, scored 122 and pitched 203 hits. In total he played 10 years, ending his career with a respectable average of. 311, which at the time was one of the best base runners, stealing 197, where he was caught only 30 times, to a rate of 87 percent, one of the best throughout the story. Some might say that playing half of his games at Ebbets Field may have helped his offensive numbers to be outstanding. But the reality is different, since others assure that percentages in the offensive era in which Robinson played would have been better in other parks and his slugging percentage would have been superior to the. 500. In other words, of a relatively powerful hitter. Robinson started playing at age 28 in Major League Baseball, one could say that he lost about five years of work because of the racial blockade, and in his early years, he played with such pressure that many might not succeed it. However, he did accomplish and succeed it and today we remember you and grant you maximum recognition for being the first player who opened the doors to African-Americans and Afro-Latinos. Among these the recent diseased Cuban Orestes “Minnie” Miñoso, and the many more that preceded, such as the Puerto Rican Rubén Gómez Víctor Pellot Power, Roberto Clemente; the Dominicans Osvaldo Virgil, Felipe Rojas Alou, Juan Marichal; the Panamanian Humberto Robinson, Héctor López; Venezuelans Elio Chacón, César Tovar, and other Latin American figures of African descendants that thanks to this great man’s named Jackie Robinson, could shine in the big tent. Thus, congratulations to MLB and all the teams for giving this tribute to Robinson every year, playing that day with his No. 42, the only number retired in MLB.