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Jackie Robinson 50th Anniversary Commemorative: Breaking
Barriers

A look at the life of Jackie Robinson:

March 31, 1997

"Many people resented my impatience and honesty, but I never cared about acceptance as much as I cared about respect."

--Jackie Robinson

*

April 17, 1947--Robinson gets his first major league hit, a bunt single against Glenn Elliott of the Boston Braves.

April 18, 1947--Robinson hits his first home run, against Dave Koslo of the New York Giants.

April 22, 1947--At Ebbets Field, Robinson is the target of taunts and insults from the Philadelphia Phillies, mainly from manager Ben Chapman. Robinson scores the game's only run. According to Dodger traveling secretary Harold Parrott: "At no time in my life have I heard racial venom and dugout abuse to match that sprayed by Chapman that night."

May 8, 1947--The Associated Press reports that a strike by the St. Louis Cardinals against Robinson was averted by the intervention of NL President Ford Frick. The Cardinals had threatened to sit out all games against the Dodgers.

Sept. 12, 1947--The Sporting News, which disparaged Robinson's abilities a year ago, name him National League rookie of the year.

Dec. 30, 1947--An Associated Press poll ranks Robinson behind singer Bing Crosby as the United States' most admired man.

Nov. 30, 1952--Appearing on the NBC program "Youth Want to Know," Robinson accuses the New York Yankees of prejudice. Responding to a question, Robinson says: "It seems to me the Yankee front office has used racial prejudice in its dealings with Negro ballplayers. I may be wrong, but the Yankees will have to prove it to me."

May 12, 1956--Before a game against the Giants that Carl Erskine starts, Giant scout Tom Sheehan is quoted in a newspaper as saying Erskine is through. Robinson plays with the newspaper stuffed in his uniform and shows to Erskine between each inning. Erskine pitches a no-hitter for the Dodgers.

Dec. 13, 1959--The Dodgers trade Robinson to the Giants for pitcher Dick Littlefield and $30,000.

Jan. 5, 1957--Robinson retires rather than change teams. He begins a a career as an executive with an insurance firm, a food-franchising firm and an interracial construction firm.

Oct. 24, 1972--Robinson dies of a heart attack in Stamford, Conn. Willie Mays says: "Every time I look in my pocketbook, I see Jackie Robinson."

IN REMEMBRANCE:

In the 50th anniversary season, baseballs for both the American and National leagues will bear an insignia commemorating Jackie Robinson's place in history. All major and minor league teams and umpires will wear a 50th anniversary logo patch in his honor.

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