Jackie Robinson was a great baseball player, ending his career with a .311 battling average, 1,518 hits and 137 home runs. For that alone he would have been remembered. But as we all know, Jackie Robinson had a much more important role in history than simply good MLB player.
In 1947, Robinson debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in a move that people call “breaking the color line.” When Robinson stepped onto the diamond, he was the first black player to do so in the modern era. Not only was his inclusion seen as a step to ending racial segregation in Major League Baseball, but also as an important moment in Civil Rights history. In 1947, another black player in the American League named Larry Doby helped to break the color line as well.
In his impressive career, #42 played in six World Series, winning one in 1955. He was also a part of six straight All-Star games, from 1949-1954. Robinson won the National League MVP award in 1949 – the same year he won the NL batting title. On two separate occasions, Robinson had the most steals in a season. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 on his first attempt.
Today’s Google Doodle is a classic tribute to one of the most important figures of the 20th century. Today is Robinson’s birthday, as he was born on January 31st, 1919.
Robinson died in 1972 of a heart attack at the age of 53.