While hundreds of players have left their mark in baseball history, few, if any, can lay claim to having the impact Jackie Robinson did. On Jan. 23, 1962, six years after he retired, Robison was elected into the Hall of Fame.
Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Playing through racial slurs hurled in his direction, Robinson hit .297/.383/.427, led the Majors with 29 stolen bases and was named Rookie of the Year. Two seasons later, Robinson was named an All-Star and earned the lone MVP Award of his career when he again led in stolen bases and batting average.
For his career, Robinson batted .311 with 137 home runs, 734 RBIs and 197 stolen bases and one World Series ring (1955) in 10 seasons with the Dodgers. Robinson passed away in October of 1972, but his legacy continues to reverberate throughout the game.
Robinson’s famed No. 42 jersey is retired across baseball, however every player gets the opportunity to wear the number every April 15 to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day; the significance being Robinson made his MLB debut on April 15, 1947.
Robinson was also honored in November by UCLA, his alma mater, as the university retired No. 42 across all sports and named 22 athletic facilities after him. The reach of Robinson’s influence was on further display with the Dodgers recent sharing of a Don Newcombe story that told of Martin Luther King, Jr. being inspired by Robinson, Newcombe and Roy Campanella.