Why is famed baseball player Jackie Robinson greeting us all on Google today? Well, today Robinson would have turned 94. To honor the memory, and the extraordinary man, Google has made him the day's doodle.
Robinson's legacy as the first African-American player in the major leagues is one that will live on for centuries. In 1946, Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. Prior to his time as a Dodger, Robinson had played in the Negro Leagues for the Kansas City Monarchs. Robinson played his first game for the Dodgers on April 15, 1947.
Throughout his career Robinson faced discrimination. Many teams threatened to not play against the Dodgers while Robinson was on the lineup. His own teammates often threatened to sit out the games rather than taking the field with Robinson. Still others defended Robinson's right to play, and luckily those were the voices that won out.
Robinson put dissenters to rest when he helped his team win the National League pennant, led the league in stolen bases, and even became Rookie of the Year. In 1949, he was named the National League's most valuable player. In 1955, Robinson helped his team beat the New York Yankees in the World Series.
After his retirement, Robinson continued to be celebrated and blaze trails. He was the first African-American inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and in 1997 (25 years after Robinson's death) all of Major League Baseball retired his number, number 42.
As we do our daily Google-ing, take a moment to remember Robinson; what he did for baseball, what he did for African-Americans in this country, and how much can change in 60 years.
In April, Jackie Robinson's life story will hit the big screen with the new movie 42.