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Even Chicago White Sox fans are Jackie Robinson fans

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CHICAGO - APRIL 15: Yoan Moncada #42 of the Chicago White Sox runs toward the dugout prior to the game against the Cleveland Indians as Major League Baseball celebrated Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, 2021 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images). (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
CHICAGO - APRIL 15: Yoan Moncada #42 of the Chicago White Sox runs toward the dugout prior to the game against the Cleveland Indians as Major League Baseball celebrated Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, 2021 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images). (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /
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Even Chicago White Sox fans need to be educated on the baseball story that changed the world. Today marks the 75th anniversary of the first Major League Baseball game that Brooklyn Dodgers great Jackie Robinson appeared in. He was the first African-American to ever play in the Majors.

Robinson may have been one of the most courageous men in the history of baseball during that period as he had to fight off racial slurs, abuse, and constant harassment by fans and players. That came all in the name of making baseball more inclusive.

It can be assured that the abuse took its toll on Robinson. But he continued to fight and eventually paved the way for African-American players to join the ranks of the Major Leagues. Busting down the color barrier was something that needed to be done and was done by Robinson with the idea being the brainchild of Brooklyn Dodgers’ part-owner Branch Rickey.

Rickey thought that it was time to integrate baseball. It was the late 1940s, the war was over, and baseball was becoming a very important part of the American lifestyle. People flocked to games to watch players go at it each and every day. Making this move would ensure that African-Americans had a chance to participate in the “national pastime” and help bring new crowds to baseball.

Jackie Robinson is so important to every team in Major League Baseball.

Robinson was signed to play for the Montreal Royals which was an affiliate of the Dodgers in 1946. He played extremely well, earning a batting title as well as helping get the team into the league championship.

With such a strong performance in the minors, Rickey decided it was time to allow Robinson to play ball in the big leagues. He approached Robinson about it and expressed to him that he was not to fight back against any of the verbal or physical abuse that was sure to take.

He was to remain strong and steadfast but was not to lash out at any of those that crossed him. While this would be incredibly hard for him to do, Robinson kept his cool (at least in public) and did not lash out at those that would cross him.

You can imagine the kind of pressure that Robinson was under. He not only had to endure the verbal and physical abuse that was dished out but he had to not fight back. That would be extremely difficult for anyone to have to do but Robinson was able to do it.

His first year in the Majors was a success. He played well, despite the pressure and even won the first Rookie of the Year honor (an award that now bears his name). Robinson went on to play nine seasons with the Dodgers winning many honors and accolades along the way. He managed to earn NL MVP, a batting title in 1949, and a World Series Champion in 1955.

The great experiment that Rickey and Robinson underwent was a huge success. Doors opened and soon African-American players started making their mark. Baseball had finally been integrated and the game was better for it.

Robinson went on to have a lively career after baseball. He managed a coffee company and had some involvement in civil rights. He seemed to age quickly and soon was wrought with health problems. Nevertheless, he kept going.

The man that broke the color barrier and suffered so much for it passed away on October 24th, 1972. The Hall of Fame inductee who had served his country in World War II and played the game he loved left his mark on our society.

It’s not just a “baseball thing” when it comes to Jackie Robinson, it’s a “humanity thing”. Jackie helped move humanity forward overcoming one of the biggest barriers in all of American history.

Tonight, the Chicago White Sox players (and every player in MLB) will all don the number 42. That is the number made famous by Robinson and the number that is never to be worn by any other player ever again except on the anniversary of his debut in the Major Leagues. This means a lot to some, especially those that realize the sacrifices that were made by Robinson.

Some people will never forget what he did. As baseball fans, we should never forget what he did to help move the game that we love forward. We should forever thank him for what we have today in baseball.

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