First black baseball player
Jackie Robinson became the first African-American player signed to major league baseball in 1946. By signing Robinson, the Brooklyn Dodgers ended an almost sixty-year segregation that had relegated black players to what was called the "Negro League".
Robinson began with the Royals, an affiliate team for the Dodgers before moving up to the Dodgers in 1947. He played for a total of ten seasons and featured in six World Series. He was selected for six 'All-Star Games' and was the first black player to win the 'National League Most Valuable Player Award' in 1949.
In 1962, Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and his jersey number (42) was officially retired across all teams in 1997.
In 2004, 'Jackie Robinson Day' was introduced to the sport, where all players wear #42
Robinson's fight to be accepted in the sport provided the inspiration for the Hollywood film 42.
First published in INSIDER Magazine, exclusive to Thursday's Irish Independent