Background • Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia in 1919 to a family of sharecroppers. • As a young child Jackie excelled in sports • Jackie attended UCLA, where he became the first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports: baseball, basketball, football and track. • Due to financial difficulties, he was forced to leave college, and eventually decided to enlist in the U.S. Army.
Background Continued • Jackie joined the United States Army and served two years, he was honorably discharged due to disagreements about racial discrimination. • Jackie played one season with the Negro Baseball leagues.
Negro Baseball Leagues • The Negro leagues were United States baseball leagues with African American players • Because African Americans were not being accepted into the major and minor baseball leagues, they formed their own teams and had made professional teams by the 1880s.
Players on the Negro leagues did not make much money • Their lives on the road were hard due to segregation laws • Many hotels did not rent rooms to African Americans, the ball players slept in cars • Many towns did not have restaurants that would serve them
Life was very different for the white players in the Major leagues • White Players were very well paid • They could eat in fine restaurants and stay in nice hotels • Their pictures were put on baseball cards for people to collect
Jackie Robinson married Rachel Isum on February 10, 1946 They had three children, Jackie Jr., Sharon and David
Branch Rickey Branch Rickey was the general manager for the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was also looking for the best baseball players, regardless of their skin color. He decided to look for a star player in the Negro leagues.
The Great Experiment Branch Rickey believed Jackie Robinson was the player he was looking for. Jackie Robinson met with Branch Rickey, they shook hands on a deal – this was known as “the great experiment” Jackie Robinson was the first black player to try out for a Major League team.
Brooklyn Dodgers • Jackie Robinson endured many hardships on his team. • Many of his teammates avoided him • They would even move if Jackie sat down next to them Opposing players from other teams were cruel to him They called him names They tried to hurt him with their cleats They aimed the ball at his head He also received threats on his life
Playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers Jackie Robinson was treated very differently from his teammates He was not allowed to stay in the hotels with his teammates He was not allowed in the same restaurants When he travelled, he was very alone Why was Jackie Robinson treated so differently from his teammates? Why do you think Jackie Robinson continued to play?
Some of Jackie's teammates wrote a petition to have Jackie thrown off the team. They asked all team members to sign it. Pee Wee Reese captain of the Brooklyn Dodgers Refused to sign the petition “ I don’t care if this man is black, white, or striped, he can play and he can help us win, That’s what counts”
A moment to remember Brooklyn Dodgers were playing against the Cincinnati Reds Some of the fans were screaming terrible things at Jackie Robinson when he was on the field Pee Wee Reese decided to do something
He walked across the field to Jackie Robinson, smiled and put his arm around him for all to see. On November 1, 2005 this statue was unveiled depicting this great moment in baseball history. This statue sits in front of Cyclone stadium MCU park, Brooklyn New York
Read the quote below by Jackie Robinson speaking about Pee Wee Reese “What a decent human being. How much he helped me. But he refuses to take the credit." – Jackie Robinson
Facts: • Jackie Robinson stole home 19 times, in his career • He was the highest paid athlete in Dodger history • His success helped other African American players, such as Satchel Paige, Willie Paige, Willie Mays and Hank Aaron • His batting average was .311
Baseball Trivia 1. Who was the General Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who signed Jackie Robinson ? 2. What year was the first World Series and what teams played? 3. In 2002, who was the first Japanese player to take part in a World Series Game? 4. How many total bases are there on a baseball field? 5. How many positions are there in baseball in the National League?
Answers: 1. Branch Rickey 2. 1903 Boston vs. Pittsburgh 3. Tsuyoshi Shinjo 4. four- first, second, third and home plate 5. Pitcher, catcher, first base, second base, short stop, third base, left fielder, right fielder and center fielder
Video Images of Jackie Robinson Video Images of Jackie Robinson http://animoto.com/play/57GvRqrGFmgywlCYdwtviQ
Jackie Robinson Born: January 31, 1919 Died: October 24, 1972