On this day in 1947 Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field becoming the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball since the 1880’s. Robinson that afternoon hit second in the Dodgers order. He went 0 for 3 and scored a run.
Jackie Robinson was 28 years old. He was not the best player in the Negro League but Dodger General Manager Branch Rickey was looking for an outstanding player who would be able to best deal with the pressures and hatred that the situation would bring. He couldn’t have picked a better man than Jackie Robinson. Jackie Robinson that season ended up as the National League Rookie of the Year. He led the league in stolen bases. He hit .297 with 12 home runs and 48 RBI. He finished 5th in the NL MVP voting.