It was over 70 years ago that a well-known police chief kicked Jackie Robinson out of a ballgame. Jackie would, of course, go on to become not only a Dodgers’ legend but an icon all over the world.
In fact, Jackie would break MLB’s color barrier with the Dodgers just one year after Roy. G Williams made him leave a minor league game in Sanford, Florida. Robinson had started the game at shortstop for the minor league team, playing two innings before Williams entered the dugout and told Robinson to leave.
On Monday, the city voted unanimously to strip Williams’ name from the park. Williams served as the Police Chief in Sanford for more than 40 years. After the incident, Robinson was sent to Dayton Beach to play for the Montreal Royals at City Island Ballpark. The city of Sanford later apologized for removing the Dodgers’ legend, but that was not until 1997.
For Jackie, it was one of the many prejudices that he faced as he tried to reach the Dodgers’ big league squad. Unfortunately, he faced even more criticisms and verbal attacks once he made it to the Major Leagues.
With the Dodgers, Jackie went on to do some pretty amazing things. He won the Rookie of the Year award after making his debut, an award later renamed after him. He was a six-time All-Star, and MVP Winner, and eventually a Hall of Famer. Through a ten-year career, Robinson collected over 1500 hits and tole nearly 200 bases. He was also a part of the team that helped win the 1955 World Series.