I saw the movie “42″ yesterday and it was the best baseball movie I have seen since “The Rookie”. But, unlike the Rookie’s main character Jim Morris, Jackie Robinson was more important to baseball and the history of sports in the United States. After all, Jackie Robinson was the first black player ever in the major leagues. In the movie, Harrison Ford plays Brooklyn Dodgers’ G.M. Branch Rickey, and he could win something for his portrayal. Rickey was an amazing person as he stepped out on a limb for not only Jackie Robinson, but all black players. Without a man of his courage, Robinson would have never gotten his chance to show what he can do.
Robinson made his major league debut in 1947 at the age of 28. He played 1B as a rookie and he won the Rookie of the Year Award in 1947. He played in 151 games for the Dodgers in 1947 and he was 175 of 590 (.297 avg, .810 OPS) with 125 runs scored, 12 homers, 48 RBIs and 29 stolen bases. His best year came in 1949, when he was the MVP. Robinson played in 156 games for the Dodgers in 1949 and he was 203 for 593 (.342 avg, .960 OPS) with 122 runs scored, 16 homers, 124 RBIs and 37 stolen bases. Robinson played in 1,382 games in his 10 years with the Dodgers and he was 1,518 of 4,877 (.311 avg, .833 OPS) with 947 runs scored, 137 homers, 734 RBIs and 197 stolen bases. Robinson had a sharp eye at the plate as he walked 740 times in his career while only whiffing 291 times in his career. Robinson made the All-Star team in 6 of his 10 years in the major leagues and he was elected into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1962. Sadly, Jackie Robinson died on October 24th, 1972 at the age of 53. He is buried at Cypress Hill Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.
Today, everyone in major league baseball will be wearing #42 on their backs in honor of the most important player ever. Because of him, it made things easier for all blacks who followed him and all hispanic and japanese ballplayers.