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Today in Sports History: 4/15 – Jackie Robinson Plays in First MLB Game

Today in sports history (1947), Jackie Robinson played his first game in the MLB. Robinson is one of the quintessential players in MLB history, as he was the first African-American player to play in an MLB game.

Born in Georgia, Robinson succeeded in many sports at UCLA. He began his career in the Negro League, with the Kansas City Monarchs in 1945. After finding success there, the Brooklyn Dodgers were impressed enough to sign him. Five days later, Robinson debuted. Segregation and racism were still a major problem in the USA at the time of Robinson’s debut. This led the Hall of Famer to face constant threats against himself and his family. That did not stop Robinson from attracting just short of 27,000 people to watch his debut game.

jackie robinson first mlb game sports history
Credit: Robert Riger/Getty Images

Jackie Robinson Plays First MLB Game

Robinson had maybe one of the toughest transitions to the professional league than anyone else. For than just from fans, Jackie Robinson also faced threats from opposing teams, including getting hit by multiple pitchers. There were even plans in place for players to strike if Robinson played.

The strike didn’t happen and the world was able to witness Robinson’s first game. Playing first base, Robinson went hitless but reached base due to an error in the seventh. He also recorded a run, which was the go-ahead run against the Boston Braves. Five days later, when the Dodgers played at Polo Grounds, more than 50,000 people attended to watch Robinson.


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