Jackie Robinson (1919-1972)
Jackie Robinson was an American baseball player who became the first black athlete to become an Major League Baseball player. In 1947 he debuted in a Brooklyn Dodger uniform. During his first Major League season he helped the Dodgers win the National League Pennant and was voted "rookie of the year". On January 31,1919, the day of his birth, he was born in Cairo, Georgia. That day he was given the name Jack Roosevelt Robinson. A versatile athlete, he also dominated in sports like football and track while at the University of California. While playing with the Kanas City Monarchs of the Negro National League he was signed to a contract by Branch Rickey and assigned (1946) to the Dodgers' Montreal farm team of the International League. Robinson was brought up the next year, and his statistics were great. He was an outstanding fielder. He led the league in fielding average three times at his position. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York in 1962. In 1972, he died from a heart attack.