Historic Markers Across Florida



Jackie Robinson - Breaks Major League Baseball Color Barrier



Marker ID:  
Location: 105 E. Orange Ave, Daytona Beach, FL
County: Volusia
Coordinates: N 29° 12.578    W 081° 1.005
  29.20963333    -81.01675
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None
 



Text:

Jackie Robinson
Breaks Major League Baseball Color Barrier
—Jackie Robinson Ballpark & Museum —


In 1945, Jackie Robinson was a Negro League standout in his rookie year with the Kansas City Monarchs, batting .387. While Jackie excelled in the field and base paths he was not considered the best compared to such renowned players as Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson. Summoned to the office of Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager, Branch Rickey, Robinson thought he was being scouted for a new Negro League team. In reality, Rickey wanted to see if Robinson had the courage and character necessary to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Branch Rickey was the product of a devout Methodist upbringing on an Ohio farm. He was known to be “religious, righteous and rhetorical.” Rickey knew Robinson had the talent. Rickey told him, "I want to beg two things of you, Jackie. Give it all you have as a ballplayer. As a man, give continuing loyalty to your race and to the critical cause you are going to symbolize. And above all, do not fight. No matter how vile the abuse, you must ignore it. You are carrying the reputation of a race on your shoulders. Bear it well, and the day will come when every team in baseball will open its doors to Negroes."

(photo caption)
“Jackie, we’ve got no army. There’s virtually nobody on our side. No owners, no umpires, very few newspapermen. And I’m afraid that many fans will be hostile. We’ll be in a tough position. We can win only if we can convince the world that I’m doing this because you’re a great ballplayer, a fine gentleman.”
Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey, New York, 1945
(photo courtesy of Corbis)

Erected by Daytona Beach, Florida.


Notes:

Photo can be found on the HMDB.org web site.