Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31, 1919 -; October
24, 1972) became the first African-American major league baseball
player of the modern era in 1947. While not the first African
American professional baseball player in United States history, his
Major League debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers ended approximately
eighty years of baseball segregation, also known as the baseball
color line. In the United States at this time, many white people
believed that blacks and whites should be segregated or kept apart
in many phases of life, including sports and daily life.
The Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Robinson in 1962 and he was a
member of six World Series teams. He earned six consecutive
All-Star Game nominations and won several awards during his career.
In 1947, Robinson won The Sporting News Rookie of the Year Award
and the first Rookie of the Year Award. Two years later, he was
awarded the National League MVP Award. In addition to his
accomplishments on the field, Jackie Robinson was also a forerunner
of the Civil Rights Movement. He was a key figure in the
establishment and growth of the Freedom Bank, an African-American
owned and controlled entity, in the 1960s. He also wrote a
syndicated newspaper column for a number of years, in which he was
an outspoken supporter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.