165 Interesting Facts About Jackie Robinson You Should Know

Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Jan 26, 2023 By Rajnandini Roychoudhury
Originally Published on Dec 09, 2021
Edited by Lara Simpson
Fact-checked by Vikhaash Sundararaj
Baseball lovers will enjoy exciting facts about Jackie Robinson.

The name Jackie Robinson is known by everyone who loves the sport of baseball.

The Jackie Robinson story proves an invaluable source of inspiration for people. Apart from being an outstanding player, he is also best known for breaking the color barrier in the sport of baseball.

Subjected to racial abuse throughout his childhood, Jack Roosevelt Robinson always strived harder, and his undeterred determination helped him become a legend of the sport. He began his professional career by playing for the Kansas City Monarchs.

He played the minor leagues for the Montreal Royals and played his entire career in the major leagues for the Brooklyn Dodgers, now known as Los Angeles Dodgers. Robinson was introduced into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 after winning by a majority of 77.5% votes.

Jackie Robinson served two years in the American Army during World War II but was commissioned overseas. After the war, Robinson began his professional career stint at a much older age of 28 years.

Robinson won the World Series with the Dodgers only once in 1955, where they defeated the New York Yankees. The movie '42' released in 2013 is a biographical film on Robinson's life. The late Chadwick Boseman played the character of Jackie Robinson while Harrison Ford portrayed Branch Rickey.

If you find our content interesting and informative, do not forget to check out our other exciting and fun articles on Alex Morgan's biography and Wallace Jr. Nascar!

Fun Facts About Jackie Robinson

The lives of great men are often filled with numerous fantastic and interesting facts. The life of Jackie Robinson was no exception. Here we will take a look at some fun facts about Jackie Robinson.

Jack Roosevelt Robinson is his complete name, and the middle name, Roosevelt, was kept as a tribute to the former President of the United States of America, Theodore Roosevelt. Jackie Robinson was born just 25 days after the passing of the former President, and thus as a mark of respect and tribute, he was given this middle name.

While studying for the Pasadena Junior College, Jackie Robinson was elected to the All-Southland Junior College Team and judged the most valuable player from his region in baseball.

Jackie Robinson's career in the army was minor and lasted for just two years. He rendered his services to the country from 1942-44. In 1942, he was assigned to Fort Riley, located in Kansas, where Jackie Robinson applied to the Officer Candidate School.

However, their recruitment was delayed owing to segregation due to skin color. However, when world heavyweight boxer Joe Louis protested heavily against discrimination, Jackie and other fellow enlistees were enrolled. This marked the beginning of a great friendship between Jackie Robinson and Joe Louis.

In 1943, on completing his Officer Candidate School, Robinson was made a second lieutenant and was assigned to Fort Hood in Texas. The year 1944 has significant importance in the life of Jackie Robinson.

While traveling in the army bus, the racist driver of the bus wanted Jackie to sit at the back, to which Jackie refused. Finally, Robinson was arrested by the military police, and a court-martial sentencing was ordered against him.

However, in the sentencing hearing, he was acquitted of all his charges by a panel of white men. The court-marshal sentencing served as a boon for the legend, as it prohibited him from being in the war zone, and thus Jackie Robinson was never deployed overseas.

In 1949, the song 'Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?' was released about Jackie Robinson by Buddy Johnson.

One of his jerseys from his rookie season of 1947 was auctioned off in 2017. It amassed a whopping $2.05 million USD. This jersey became the highest priced for a jersey that was auctioned after World War II.

Facts About Jackie Robinson's Professional Career

Among all other baseball players who were African Americans, the name of Jackie Robinson shines the brightest. Let us take a close look into the professional baseball career of Jackie Robinson.

Jackie Robinson was first offered to play as a professional baseball player for the Kansas City Monarchs in the negro leagues in 1945. He played a total of 47 games for the team but was dissatisfied with the hectic schedule and the gambling that was heavily involved with the sport.

While playing baseball in the African-American leagues, he also gave a tryout for the Major League Baseball team, Boston Red Sox. Subjected to extensive racism, Robinson left the tryouts as a humiliated man.

During this time of his life, Jackie Robinson met a man who would later change his life. The then-general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey, was on the lookout for young talented players from the lower division leagues where he spotted the talented African-American black man, Robinson.

Rickey convinced Robinson not to react to racial abuses during the games he played baseball and offered him an excellent contract to join Montreal Royals. Thus, Jackie Robinson became the first black African-American man to play in the International Leagues post-1880s.

In 1946, Robinson was poorly received in the state of Florida and was again subjected to huge racial discrimination. He was not allowed to stay with his fellow teammates, and thus he remained in the house of one of the civil rights movement activists, Mary McLeod Bethune.

The police chief of Florida made it clear that games would be canceled if Jackie Robinson was out there playing baseball but was ultimately allowed to play a game.

This became history yet again, as Robinson became the first black African-American man to play for a minor league baseball team against a team from the major leagues.

Robinson made his professional debut for Montreal Royals against Jersey City Giants. He ended the season in the International League on a high note by becoming the most valuable player with a batting average of .349.

1947 was his rookie season in the Major American League, where he played as the first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jackie Robinson donned the 42 number jersey, which became iconic in the history of the hall of fame for the sport.

Robinson created records yet again to become the first black African-American man to play in the national league since 1884.

Though he was racially abused, Robinson brought a change in the major leagues as black African-American supporters started to fill the crowds of the national league to support their favorite baseball player from the Brooklyn Dodgers.

He finished that season with a batting average of .293, scoring 125 runs. Robinson was judged the Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award winner.

The racial pressure on Robinson started easing post-1948 when more black African-American players joined the league.

Initially suffering from physical and diet setbacks and a drop in percentages, Robinson trained harder than ever and finally regained his form when he improved his batting average from .296 to .342. Apart from hard-hitting, one of the unique styles of Robinson was to baffle the opponent pitcher and fielders by confusing them and stealing bases.

Though the Brooklyn Dodgers were on a superb run, they ultimately lost the title to New York Yankees.

Robinson's impressive performance on the field carried out for years, and he was soon the highest-paid baseball player among his fellow baseball players of the team. Jackie Robinson won his solitary World Series title when the Brooklyn Dodgers defeated the New York Yankees.

Robinson's form started to dip as he acquired diabetes, and he finally decided to hang his boots in 1957. The Brooklyn Dodgers also relocated to Los Angeles that same year and became known as the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Children are fond of exciting facts about Jackie Robinson.

Facts About Jackie Robinson's Accomplishments

The Jackie Robinson story serves as inspiration for millions of people all across the globe. So let us find some exciting facts on Robinson's Accomplishments and his legacy.

Jackie Robinson created many historical marks in baseball. He brought an end to the baseball color line. The baseball color line was a time period of 60 years where black men were barred from playing baseball in the national league and major leagues.

Breaking the color line played a huge role in the Civil Rights Movement, where Martin Luther King Jr deeply praised Robinson and called him a legend.

After his death, Robinson was included as a part of the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on his first year of eligibility in 1962 and amassed a whopping vote of 77.5% on the ballot.

Time Magazine included Robinson in the list of 100 most influential men of the 20th century. In the 1960s, Jackie Robinson played a vital role in establishing the Freedom National Bank.

His iconic jersey number 42 was retired in 1997, and thus Jackie Robinson became the first person whose jersey number was retired within the confines of all four major American Sports.

Facts About Jackie Robinson's Childhood

The journey of every great man begins from his childhood, and for Jackie Robinson, this was also true. Here we will find some of the exciting facts about Robinson's childhood.

Jackie Robinson was born as the youngest of the five children of the Robinson family on January 31, 1919, in Georgia. When Jackie was barely a year old, his father left their family in 1920.

After his father left, the whole Robinson family decided to move to California to settle there. To support the family, Jackie's mother shuffled between her jobs.

Though the Robinsons lived in a wealthy neighborhood, they were poor and often found it hard to make both ends meet. Jackie Robinson and his fellow friends that were all part of the minority community, were excluded from different sports groups.

Jackie joined a local neighborhood gang to fight the stigma of racism and its various wrongdoings. However, Jackie Robinson decided to leave the gang on repeated persuasions by his friend.

In 1935, he passed his Junior High school and enrolled in High School. During this period, his elder brothers significantly influenced his career. Jackie was deeply inspired by his brother Mack, an Olympic silver medal winner, and Frank.

This led Jackie to take an active interest in sports and the University level, and he ended by lettering in four major sports. Those were Baseball, Football, Basketball, and track events. The local newspaper wrote an article on him being an outstanding athlete for two years consecutively.

After graduating from his High school, Jackie Robinson enrolled himself in Pasadena Junior College, where he continued his studies in sports. Towards the end of college, a major incident happened in his life, which later became one of the reasons to change his life.

His dear brother Frank died of a motorcycle accident which made Jackie Robinson determined to pursue his studies further in sports. After passing college, he enrolled in the University of California, Los Angeles, to focus on his career and stay near his late brother's family.

At UCLA, Jackie Robinson became the first person of the University to win letters in four different sports. He, however, left the University just before graduation and took up a job.

He became the assistant athletic director at the National Youth Administration that was an initiative of the American government. Once the operation closed down, he traveled to Honolulu to become a football professional. However, his footballing career stint was cut short due to Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor, making America enter World War II.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created many interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 165 fascinating facts about Jackie Robinson you should know, then why not take a look at Muhammad Ali's children or facts about Drake?

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Written by Rajnandini Roychoudhury

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

Rajnandini Roychoudhury picture

Rajnandini RoychoudhuryBachelor of Arts specializing in English, Master of Arts specializing in English

With a Master of Arts in English, Rajnandini has pursued her passion for the arts and has become an experienced content writer. She has worked with companies such as Writer's Zone and has had her writing skills recognized by publications such as The Telegraph. Rajnandini is also trilingual and enjoys various hobbies such as music, movies, travel, philanthropy, writing her blog, and reading classic British literature. 

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Fact-checked by Vikhaash Sundararaj

Bachelor of Fine Arts specializing in International Business

Vikhaash Sundararaj picture

Vikhaash SundararajBachelor of Fine Arts specializing in International Business

With a background in International Business Management, having completed his degree at the University of Hull. Vikhaash has volunteered with 'Teach For India' to help students create a monthly newsletter. In his free time, he enjoys sports and was the assistant captain of his school's hockey team. He has also gained marketing experience through an internship at Decathlon Sports India.

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