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Jackie Robinson

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Jackie Robinson, Why Him?

The story of Jackie Robinson has become one of America's most iconic and inspiring stories. Since 1947, American history has portrayed Jackie Robinson as a hero, and he has been idolized as a role model to the African American baseball community. It is an unarguable fact that he was the first to tear down the color barriers within professional baseball. The topic of Robinson’s role in integration has long been a point of discussion amongst baseball historians. Researchers have accumulated thousands of accredited documents and interviews with friends and team mates such as short stop, Pee Wee Reese, and team owner, Branch Rickey. However, few journalists have asked why Robinson was selected and what was Branch Rickey’s motivation? While Robinson was the first Negro player to break into the ranks of professional baseball, it can be argued that he was not the first to attempt the undertaking. In actuality, Jackie possibly was not even the first player the Brooklyn Dodgers’ organization considered for the job. The Warner Brothers film, 42, The Jackie Robinson Story (2013), highlights the accomplishments of Jackie and rightfully so, as he was an amazing man. The story actually starts prior to 1947 and ends years later in 1959, three years after his retirement in 1956. Early in his career at Ohio Wesleyan University, where Branch Rickey played and coached baseball, an incident occurred with one of his young black players, Charlie Thomas, which would forever change Rickey’s life, the future of integration of major league baseball, and would have an impact on the civil rights movement. Jackie Robinson’s amazing accomplishments, not only as a ballplayer but also as a spearheading civil rights leader are a direct result of this happenstance. The film is set in 1947, and was conceived with the purpose to highlight Robinson’s...

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