While there are many people who love sports, and there are many sports that people enjoy watching and betting on, MLB betting is one of the most popular in the U.S.
While Baseball is not the most popular sport to bet on, not when Football is so popular. However, part of what makes baseball so popular is the legends that have been uncovered in the sport.
What legends? We hear you ask, well, these include legends such as Jackie Robinson, whose legacy has far from ended even this far beyond his reign on the field.
So, rather than going off on a tangent about why baseball is so popular, we will introduce you to the legacy that Jackie Robinson left behind in his wake, and how it has influenced the sport in the long haul.
Who Was Jackie Robinson?
Jackie Robinson was a man who left a lifetime of history in his wake, and he was in the process of making this history until he passed away at 53 years old. Back in 1972 he was lost to heart disease and diabetes.
Only 9 days before this he made a public appearance at the 2nd game of the World Series, in which he hoped that the MLB would soon hire a Black manager for the first time ever.
He was the first-ever Black baseball player to play in the major leagues in America in the 20th century. He broke the color line in the sport and changed the game forever.
But, he was beyond great for this alone. He came to his heights in his athleticism when he played for the ‘39 Bruins football team, he won the NCAA long jump title, and he was in the army in ‘44.
When he was discharged honorably, he was signed with the Monarchs of the Negro American League. After this he ended up playing for the Dodgers from 1947 until 1956, as an in and outfielder.
He was an outstanding athlete all round, and he was prominent not only in the MLB, although that is what he was best known for, but also in football, basketball, and track as well.
We say he ascended quickly, however, in the grand scheme of things he didn’t. Yet, once he was with the Dodgers he did ascend very quickly. It was when he was with the Kansas City Monarchs that he got the attention of the Dodgers.
Robinson was ideal for what the manager Rickey was looking for. He has integrity, he was conservative and family-oriented, and his skills on the baseball field were outstanding. Rickey was afraid that Robinson would receive a lot of racist abuse.
When they met, Rickey started hurling insults at Robinson, to see if he would be stern enough to withstand these. He did, and Robinson was signed.
He ended up leading the league in 2946 with a hardy batting average, and he started playing for Brooklyn in ‘47.
He was an immediate success with Brooklyn, he led the league in stolen bases, and by 1949 he had won the batting championship. He had an awesome 342 average and became MVP that year.
In a world where racism was still very much active and part of life, Robinson didn’t care and took titles like nothing else mattered. Because, to him, nothing else did matter.
Why Was He So Important?
The importance of Jackie Robinson was how he was the first-ever African American to play MLB in the U.S. in the 20th Century.
He is the man who broke the color barrier that stood so strong in the U.S. sporting world for so long, and he broke this with the MLB, it was around this area we slowly started to see the color barrier deteriorate in other sports too.
However, in baseball, he broke the barrier. When he first appeared on the field for the Dodgers in the National League against the Boston Braves, there was no doubt hate would ensue from judgmental types, but he became a legend and stayed a legend.
The biggest achievement noted for Robinson was the breaking of the color line. Of course, he was a spectacular sportsman as well, and his achievements in the world of sports are so high.
But, breaking the societal color barrier was something that in that time no one thought would happen, but he did it, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of baseball in 1962, having won 6 league championships and a World Series.
How Did He Influence Others?
The MLB celebrates this legend on April 15th, this was the day his number retired from the MLB in 1997, and his number is instead worn by every player, umpire, and coach in every game played by that day in remembrance of this amazing man!