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The Role of Jackie Robinson in Sports

This blog is the twentieth installment of UIC Radio’s Black History Month series profiling and celebrating the work of Black artists throughout the month of February. To read the previous entry in this series, click here! For more information regarding Black History Month at UIC and the many upcoming events planned over the next several weeks, visit the Black History Month Student Planning Committee’s webpage here.

There are a great many reasons why Black History Month is celebrated in February, and this particular reason signifies something very important in the role of sports. The end of January marks the birthday of an amazing second baseman, a great human being and father, and someone who made history throughout his time. His name: Jackie Robinson, a truly great person that broke barriers.

Jackie Robinson was a great baseball player who played with the Brooklyn Dodgers (who later moved to California and became the Los Angeles Dodgers) from 1947 to 1957. He won it all in MLB, winning the inaugural Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, winning National League MVP in 1949, and winning a World Series championship in 1955. He was also named to the NL All-Star Team in six straight seasons from 1949 to 1954. He embodied the spirit of a Hall of Famer throughout his career, and he was inducted into the Hall on his first ballot in 1962.

Jackie Robinson was breaking barriers all around because he was the first African-American to play baseball in the Major Leagues, which broke the color barrier for other people. The actor who played Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) in the movie 42 brought a lot of attention to Robinson and did an excellent job portraying a legendary man who made history in baseball and in all of sports in general. I want people to know that even though Jackie Robinson broke barriers, I know that many people can make history in other things and make everything seem possible no matter what!

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