Fans know iconic baseball player Jackie Robinson for his playing skills as well as his historic role in breaking the color barrier. To honor him decades later, the MLB renamed the Rookie of the Year Award after him. Let’s look at the man and the award.
Jackie Robinson’s life before the Dodgers
Robinson was born on January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, according to Biography.com. He grew up in Pasadena, California, where he ran track and played football, basketball, and baseball. He went to UCLA but didn’t graduate due to financial issues. After college, Robinson played semi-pro football in Honolulu, Hawaii.
During World War II, from 1942 to 1944, Robinson served in the Army but didn’t engage in combat. He was court-martialed in 1944 for refusing to move to the back of a segregated bus at Fort Hood, Texas. The incident received publicity, and he was ultimately acquitted and given an honorable discharge from the military.
After the Army, Robinson first played in the Negro baseball leagues before joining the Montreal Royals, a Brooklyn Dodgers farm team, in 1946.