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Breaking Baseball’s Color Line
In August 1945, Brooklyn Dodgers’ general manager Branch Rickey first approached Jackie Robinson, an outstanding athlete then playing baseball in the Negro leagues, to participate in the “great experiment” of integrating the major leagues. After a season in the minors, Robinson officially broke baseball’s color barrier when he put on Dodgers uniform No. 42 in April 1947. In spite of intense pressure and hostility, Robinson’s athletic abilities earned him the Rookie of the Year Award in 1947. When Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers, talented black athletes toiled in relative obscurity in the Negro leagues despite the exciting caliber of their play.

Image: Library of Congress