This day in sports: Jackie Robinson became first African-American major league baseball player in 1947

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* FILE ** This is an April 18, 1948 portrait of Brooklyn Dodgers baseball player Jackie Robinson. Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day Tuesday April 15, 2008, marking the 61st anniversary of the end of the game’s racial barrier. (AP Photo/file)

This day in sports history: April 15, 1947

On this date in 1947, Jackie Robinson made history by becoming the first African-American to play in the major leagues since Moses Fleetwood Walker in 1884.

Robinson made his MLB debut playing first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers in front of 26,623 fans at Ebbets field in Brooklyn, NY.

The Dodgers beat the Boston Braves that day 5-3 with Robinson scoring the eventual go-ahead run.

In his first season with the Dodgers, Robinson was named Rookie of the Year, the first time the title was awarded to a player. Two years later in 1949, he was voted as the National League Most Valuable Player.

FILE – In this Sept. 28, 1955, file photo, Brooklyn Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson safely steals home plate under the tag of New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra in the eighth inning of the World Series opener at New York’s Yankee Stadium.
(AP Photo/John Rooney, File)

Robinson played 10 seasons in the majors, all of them with the Dodgers. He lead Brooklyn to six pennants and a World Series title over the New York Yankees in 1955.

A first ballot selection into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, Robinson finished his career with 947 runs, 734 RBI, 1,518 hits, and a .311 average. His number 42 jersey also became the first jersey of a professional athlete to be retired across a sport.

Robinson is remembered for breaking the color barrier which paved the way for other African-American professional athletes.

His legacy lives on through his foundation, The Jackie Robinson Foundation, which provides scholarships for higher education.

Every year on April 15, major league baseball celebrates “Jackie Robinson Day,” and honors the legendary figure by all players wearing Jackie Robinson’s number 42.

References: National Baseball Hall of Fame, Baseball Reference, Britannica, The Jackie Robinson Foundation

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