Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Every April 15th is a Holiday for Jackie Robinson, and it Should Be

April 15th means more to a lot of people than most would realize. For some it’s another entrance to the weekend and for others it’s payday, which is indeed a reason to celebrate. But for all, regardless of awareness, it’s Jackie Robinson Day. 75 years ago on April 15th Jack Roosevelt Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier by stepping onto Ebbets Field with the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the rest has been literal history.

Winning the National League Most Valuable Player in 1949, and being admitted to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999 are just a few noteworthy achievements of Mr. Robinson’s career. With just under 5,000 at-bats in his career, Robinson touted a .313 batting average with 1,563 of those plate appearances ending in hits. There was nothing worse for an opposing pitcher than to see Jackie Robinson smiling back at them from the box… then from first base… then waving as he stole second and third… and then politely taking his seat on the bench after stealing home as well.

Former General Manager of the Dodgers Branch Rickey was quoted as saying, “There was never a man in the game who could put mind and muscle together quicker than Jackie Robinson.” To this day the way Robinson played the game is still held as a standard, not only for baseball, but for many of the other sports Jackie starred in like football, basketball and track. Without Jackie we might not have ever seen the likes of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Satchel Paige, Josh Gibson, Ozzie Smith or Ken Griffey Jr.

It’s not too often we’re blessed with an icon on and off the field that is equally yoked in both places. From his humble beginnings in Cairo, Georgia to his time as a multi-sport phenomenon at UCLA, there has never been and will never be an example of strength, finesse, intelligence and confidence such as Jackie Robinson. Growing up as a young Black boy in the South, society will tell us that we don’t have the option of duality or having multifaceted areas of excellence, but Mr. Robinson is a blueprint that displayed different. There’s a reason his image is placed among those like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis  and W. E. B. Dubois. It’s the same reason why Major League Baseball unanimously retired his number 42. His contribution to the game of baseball, his legacy in the sport community, and his impact on the world as we know it was and will continue to be nothing short of a blessing.

Malcolm Anderson | Malcolm Anderson is a Cum Laude graduate of Reinhardt University. From the beginning of his education, the ideas of creativity and ever-expanding curiosity were instilled in him. He loves working with children and helping them believe that they can do anything they put their mind to, a lesson he was taught from an early age. Although his focus is on Sports Media, Malcolm has been writing for various mediums over the past few years and aims to expand his repertoire in an effort to reach as many people as possible. 

IG: @maccofalltrades

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