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Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson: The Player, The Man, and The Legend

Vandan Patel

on 17 June 2013

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Transcript of Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson
Statement of Purpose
This portfolio will examine the life of Jackie Robinson and the impact he had on Major League Baseball. As the first African American to play in the MLB, a white player league only, Jackie Robinson had a lasting impact on the game. With his courage and determination, Robinson was able to pave the road for other great African American baseball players such as Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, and Bob Gibson. Even though Robinson faced many hardships from other white players and fans, he was able to power through the troubles and cements himself as one of the best players of all-time. Able to ignore the racial slurs that were constantly thrown his way, Robinson put up stellar statistics and was inducted into the Cooperstown Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. April 15th of every year, Jackie Robinson day, Major League Baseball honors and recognizes him by having every current player wear the number 42, Jackie Robinson’s number. Back in 2004, Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig retired the number 42 from baseball; no one will wear the number ever again. Clearly, not only was Robinson a monumental figure in the sports world, he also had a tremendous impact on the American society, which struggled with discrimination and prejudice during the time period. Following Robinson, Major League Baseball saw a great spike in colored players in the league, a direct result of Robinson breaking the color barrier. But since the 1950’s-1970’s, which is considered the golden age for African American baseball players, Major League Baseball has seen a steady decline in the percentage of African American baseball players in the league. Because of the lack of scholarships college baseball programs give out, in addition to the lack of interest in a non-contact sport such as baseball, African American athletes have been driven away from the sport, choosing to pursue professional careers in other leagues such as the National Football League and the National Basketball Association. Current African American baseball players such as Matt Kemp, Andrew McCutchen, and CC Sabathia have been making efforts to encourage African American kids in inner cities to try the sport, hoping to keep Robinson’s efforts alive. By the end of this presentation, we will have covered a brief biography of Jackie Robinson, studied the impact he had on Major League Baseball and American society and investigated possible causes and solutions to the decrease in African American ballplayers.

Class Connection
As prejudice and racism have caused enormous suffering across history, it is very important to try to understand how they work. Prejudice and racism both refer to a negative view of one group of people based solely on their membership in that group. Racism is a specific form of prejudice, involving prejudicial attitudes or behavior towards members of an ethnic group. Stereotyping goes hand in hand with prejudice. When we stereotype people, we attribute a series of traits to them based on the one trait that signals their membership in a particular group. A few examples of this are the stereotype that African Americans cannot swim or play ice hockey, or that Asians are studious, but not athletic. Neither of those stereotypes has any factual evidence supporting the statement, yet they are used frequently in our society.
The tendency to classify our external experience into categories is a fundamental and universal aspect of human cognition, and the psychological reason behind racism and prejudice. This is a necessary part of human thought, allowing us to process information efficiently and quickly. If we did not create categories, our entire life would be a buzzing mass of confusion; our brains would not be able to make sense of our environment. But the creation of these categories lead to negative thoughts and connotations and as a results, contribute to discrimination, prejudice, and stereotypes. In social categorization, we place people into categories and often times, we elevate the importance of the category that we personally belong to. This elevation also causes humans to look more negatively upon those groups of people to whom they do not belong with or agree with. A need to boost self-esteem and make one feel better about themselves, racial slurs and stereotypes are created. For examples, Jackie Robinson was an outstanding baseball player, better than most white players in the MLB. Feeling insecure about their own abilities and having someone of a different race compared to them, white ballplayers used discriminatory language to put down Jackie Robinson and other black athletes. Evidently, it can be seen that psychology plays a key role in racism and discrimination, something that not only Jackie Robinson and future African American athletes were able to overcome, but so were people of all races and ethnicities.

Professional Photo 1
Because of Jackie Robinson's outstanding season, he was awarded the National League Most Valuable Player of the Year award in 1949, after winning the Rookie of the Year award a few years back. This shows the immense talent that Robinson possessed and how he excelled on the field.
Professional Photo 2
For all of his greatest baseball achievements, Robinson was a great teammate and led the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers to their only World Series Championship. This is a picture of the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers team.
Professional Photo 3
This is a picture of one of the greatest player in Major League Baseball history being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Professional Photo 4
While Jackie Robinson was fighting for civil rights, a fellow African American, Muhammad Ali, was on his way to becoming the greatest boxer in history; an achievement that brought Robinson tremendous satisfaction.
Professional Photo 5
This is a picture of Jackie Robinson meeting Martin Luther King Jr. On the field, Robinson was one of the greatest players ever, but off the field, he was an important figure in the civil rights movement.
Professional Photo 6
This is a picture of Jackie Robinson's wife and his white teammate, Pee Wee Reese's wife in front of their husband's statue. The statue depicts Reese putting his arm around Robinson's shoulder while fans were screaming racial slurs.
Professional Photo 7
This is a picture of a base on April 15th, 2013 as Major League Baseball remembers and honor the man who broke the color barrier.
Professional Photo 8
This is a picture of the New York Yankees on Jackie Robinson Day, all wearing the number 42 to honor Robinson.
Professional Photo 9
The most popular African American player in baseball, Matt Kemp of the LA Dodgers, meeting with Robinson's widow, Rachel Robinson during the Dodgers tribute to Jackie Robinson, the greatest player in Dodger history.
Professional Photo 10
At Citi Field, home of the New York Mets, the number 42 is placed in the center of the main entrance, which is named the Jackie Robinson Rotunda. The rotunda, from the outside, is designed to resemble the main entrance to Ebbets Field, the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Journal Article 1
Journal Article 2
Journal Article 3
Journal Article 4
Interview with Prof. Jeffrey Sammons
(New York University: Dept. of History)
1. Baseball legend Hank Aaron recently made some comments about the low percentage of African Americans on MLB rosters; “Jackie Robinson would certainly be disappointed. You look at baseball. The African American segment is not one they’re concerned with…Today, black kids don’t have places to play. They don’t have the bats, balls, gloves. They don’t have the coaches…I think Major League Baseball has to reach in their back pockets and do something to help these kids.” Does Hank Aaron have a point?
"I understand where Mr. Aaron is coming from, but I do not believe his statement is completely accurate. Commissioner Bud Selig has exhausted many resources to grow the sport, domestically and internationally. At the end of the day, if children, specifically African American kids, do not wish to play the game, there is nothing else Major League Baseball can do about it.

2. What does it say about America and how far we have come as a country that every April 15th, people of all races throughout Major League Baseball support and honor Jackie Robinson’s legacy?
It is definitely shows that as a country, we have been able to move pass the racial differences that exist between people, but there is always room for improvement considering you will occasionally find those who holding on to racism. But in all, if Robinson were alive today, he would feel a great sense of satisfaction seeing how people of all races live with one another; together.

3. Would you consider Jackie Robinson to be the most influential person in sports history?
Most influential, no. But he is definitely one of the most influential athletes. Throughout history, there have been so many prominent athletes such as Wilma Rudolph, Muhammad Ali, and Jesse Owens. It is impossible to rank the order of impact these figures have made on their respective sports and American society.
Personal Photo 1
Baseball is still one of the most popular sport our country has to offer. America's national pastime is a sport I love to play and watch along with millions of other baseball fans around the world.
Personal Photo 2
Even though the Dodgers left Brooklyn and moved to Los Angels, the Dodgers still have a large fan base in the New York area and the team still means a lot to the people of Brooklyn.
Personal Photo 3
Little League Baseball is the most popular youth sports league in America.
Personal Photo 4
Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees, the last player ever to wear the number 42, Jackie Robinson's retired number.
Personal Photo 5
Had my family and I not moved to Connecticut, the high school I would have attended, Forest Hills High School in Queens, New York, recently reconstructed their sports field and named it the Jackie Robinson Field.
Personal Photo 6
During my visit at Yankees Stadium, the New York Yankees honored Jackie Robinson by placing his jersey number and plaque in Monument Park for visitors to see.
Personal Photo 7
During my visit to Citi Field, the New York Mets honored Jackie Robinson by placing a 42 in the Jackie Robinson Rotunda.
Personal Photo 8
This is a picture of a LeBron James jersey. As the best basketball player in the world, Jackie Robinson would have loved to see the success that the African American James has achieved.
Personal Photo 9
Personal Photo 10
Poem 1
Jackie Robinson…an American Hero By: Stanley Cooper
He never asked to be a hero
For him, playing ball would be just fine
Potentially his chance was less than zero
To overcome that black-white racist line

Unlike Duke, Dimag and Mickey
Jackie entered through back doors
The stage was set by Mr. Rickey
For Robinson to fight that Civil War

Sports, they say, mirrors society
So, they should have hung their heads in shame
For what was then America's propriety
Brought prejudice to every game

The Brooklyn Bums, at long last, found salvation
When Robinson's talents were revealed
With the awesome double-play combination
Reese and Jackie brought to Ebbetts Field

Stealing fan's hearts with baseball fire
Displaying skills in every way
Robinson played with such desire
Stealing bases most every day

They could never expect from him the expected
He turned the most racist hate to love
And finally he was most respected
Respect that came from more than bat and glove

For Jackie, baseball was more than just a game
He opened doors for Campy, Mays and others
Number 42, now in the Hall of Fame
Proved men of all colors could play in life as brothers

He never asked to be a hero!

The reason I chose this poem to represent Jackie Robinson is because it perfectly captures the fact than Robinson did not do what he did for the fame or recognition; everything he did was to get equal rights for African Americans. This poem does a great job of showing where Jackie Robinson started from and where he ended up; being able to change hate into love. From the racial slurs thrown his way to the great expectation of African American fans, Jackie Robinson was able to deal with all of the adversities and paved the way for other black athletes, his ultimate goal. He never asked to be a hero; he just did what he believed in. This is considered one of the best poems about Jackie Robinson.
Poem 2
Jackie Robinson Poem
This is a poem about the epic tale,
Of one extremely brave African American male.
He fought for what he thought was right,
And he never did start a fight.

Jackie Robinson played the field,
Though the negativity never ceased to yield.
He continued just as persistent as ever,
And how he handled things was quite clever.

Because if he succumbed to temptation at all,
The black community would have a great fall.
We all thank Mr. Robinson for breaking the barrier,
And making baseball much much merrier.

Just like the previous poem, this one also does a great job in showing how Robinson was able to play through all of the negativity the surrounded him on a daily basis. This poem is also able to show the significance of Jackie Robinson in history, “Because if he succumbed to temptation at all/The black community would have a great fall”. Not only did Robinson have the pressure to succeed on the field to gain approval of white players and fans, he also had to live up to the expectation of African Americans throughout the country. To the black community, Robinson was much more than a baseball player; he was a pioneer, a trailblazer, a leader, a role model.
Poem 3 (Original)
Jackie Robinson—An Acrostic Poem
By: Vandan Patel

ool, Calm, Collected
ducated at UCLA

ise Taker
rooklyn Dodger
atural Athlete
wift and Speedy
pportunity for Others
ever gave up on his dream

Personal Blog
Outside Blog
"Remember the Name"
By: Fort Minor
Theme Song Lyrics
Theme Song Explanation
“Remember the Name” by Fort Minor is the song I chose to represent my portfolio on Jackie Robinsons because I feel like the song fully captures the struggles that Robinson went through in order to make himself one the prominent figures of the 1900’s. Just like the lyrics of the song, Jackie Robinson “doesn’t need his name up in lights” and “it was not about the salary”’ everything Robinson did was “to get some respect” for himself and other African American athletes. Just like the song artists, Robinson came up from the rubble and used the fame he got on his way to accomplish his goal, to help create a better world for future black athletes. Because of such similarities between the meaning of the lyrics and Robinson, I felt that this song would perfectly exemplify what Jackie Robinson was all about, and how people worldwide still remember the name.
Artwork 1
"42", directed by Brian Helgeland, is my first artwork because it is a movie about the life story of Jackie Robinson. From his struggles to his successes, the movie does a great job in showing all the Robinson had to endure. The movie delves into the deep racial tension that occurred when Robinson player, but by the end, we see the impact Robinson makes on other players and american society. It is a fantastic movie!
Artwork 2
Just like the movie "42", this book, "Jackie Robinson: A Biography" by Arnold Rampersad is a great way to learn about Jackie Robinson's. This book is considered to be one of the best biographies every written about Jackie Robinson.
Personal Reflection: Wordle
This is a screen shot of the definition of equality. Equality is what Jackie Robinson always fought for; it was never about the fame, it was always about the cause. Even though Robinson is an all-time great baseball player, people remember for him for breaking the color barrier and making baseball equal for all.
This is a sign of Barack Obama's campaign for the 2008 Presidential election, which he did win. Just like Robinson was the first black player in Major League Baseball, President Obama also made history in becoming the first black president.
How To: Throw Various Pitches
Work Cited
From Brooklyn to Los Angeles...
...Jackie Robinson's impact was felt throughout Major League Baseball and across the country.
"7 Memorable Quotes Attributed to Jackie Robinson." Jackie Robinson: 7 Memorable Quotes. ABCLocal, 11 Apr. 2013. Web. 16 June 2013. <http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/local&id=9061631>.
"Jackie Robinson." Jackie Robinson. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 16 June 2013. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackie_Robinson>.
"Fort Minor - Remember The Name (OFFICIAL Video) HD." YouTube. YouTube, 29 Aug. 2010. Web. 16 June 2013. <
""Remember The Name" Lyrics." FORT MINOR LYRICS. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 June 2013. <http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/fortminor/rememberthename.html>.
"42 Official Trailer #1 (2012) - Harrison Ford Movie - Jackie Robinson Story HD." YouTube. YouTube, 21 Sept. 2012. Web. 16 June 2013. <
"2012 ALDS Game 3. Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees. Pl." YouTube. YouTube, 14 June 2013. Web. 16 June 2013. <
Cooper, Stanley. "Jackie Robinson...an American Hero." PoemHunter. N.p., 02 Jan. 2006. Web. 16 June 2013. <http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/jackie-robinson-an-american-hero/>.
"Jackie Robinson Poem." Jackie Robinson Poem. NCASD, n.d. Web. 16 June 2013. <http://www.ncasd.com/site/images/documents/Jackie_Robinson_Poem.pdf>.
"Baseball Statues Aplenty, Many of Them in Unexpected Places." Bats Baseball Statues Aplenty Many of Them in Unexpected Places Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 June 2013. <http://bats.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/05/babe-ruth-statues-not-in-new-york-city/>.
Demby, Gene. "Jackie Robinson's Birthday: Remembering A Pioneer." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 31 Jan. 2012. Web. 16 June 2013. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/31/jackie-robinsons birthday_n_1244934.html>.
Demby, Gene. "Jackie Robinson's Birthday: Remembering A Pioneer." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 31 Jan. 2012. Web. 16 June 2013. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/31/jackie-robinsons-birthday_n_1244934.html>.
Demby, Gene. "Jackie Robinson's Birthday: Remembering A Pioneer." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 31 Jan. 2012. Web. 16 June 2013. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/31/jackie-robinsons-birthday_n_1244934.html>.
Harding, Thomas. "Rockies Honor Jackie Robinson with No. 42." Colorado Rockies. MLB.com, 16 Apr. 2013. Web. 16 June 2013. <http://mlb.mlb.com newsarticle.jspymd=20130416&content_id=44951514¬ebook_id=44968594&vkey=notebook_col&c_id=col>.
"Jackie Robinson Day around MLB." USA Today. Gannett, n.d. Web. 16 June 2013. <http://www.usatoday.com/picture-gallery/sports/mlb/2013/04"Robinson, Jackie: Induction into Baseball Hall of Fame, 1962." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 16 June 2013. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/media/110418/Jackie-Robinson-at-his-induction-into-the-Baseball-Hall-of>./15/jackie-robinson-day-around-mlb/2084223/>.
"Baseball's Impact on Martin Luther King Jr." Yahoo! Sports. Yahoo!, n.d. Web. 16 June 2013. <http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/baseball-impact-martin-luther-king-jr-155634569--mlb.html>.
Full transcript