Every player knows the importance of “mental toughness” in baseball and softball. Jackie Robinson was a world class athlete, and had the physical tools to become a Hall of Fame second baseman, but what allowed him to excel on the diamond was his extraordinary mental toughness.
Robinson’s ability to withstand racial slurs, physical play on the field and social backlash from the game of baseball and the world is still an inspiration to today’s Big Leaguers.
Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder, Carl Crawford, had this to say regarding Major League Baseball’s upcoming celebration of Jackie Robinson Day. “When I see the number 42, it just makes me think about all the things Jackie had to go through. It just makes me want to represent myself the same way he was able to represent himself.”
The number 42 is officially retired by every team in Major League Baseball. In honor of Robinson’s debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day every year on April 15th. Take a moment today, while the players are lined up for the National Anthem, to reflect on the symbolism of the 42 on the back of every jersey.
Jackie Robinson may be gone but his legacy will live on forever. He knew that breaking the MLB color barrier carried more significance than just his career statistics. That can be summed up in one of Jackie Robinson’s most famous quotes:
“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
“42: The Jackie Robinson Story” is currently playing in theatres everywhere, so check it out to get a closer look at Robinson’s remarkable story. Also be sure to continue sending us your game pictures or bat review videos for a chance to win a $25 or $300 gift card from JustBats.com. Click HERE for directions and see just how easy it is to enter.
In September of 1920, after the White Sox lost the world series, Shoeless Joe along with seven other players were accused of taking $5,000 to throw the World Series. The accusations went into investigation and were brought to court. In 1921 the Chicago Jury on the case voted in favor of Jackson and thought the accusations should be dropped. Regardless of the jury however, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who was given power after the Black Sox scandal, terminated Shoeless Joe and the seven other players and they were banned from the MLB. On January 19th, 1934 Shoeless Joe asked for a reinstatement but was denied by Commissioner Kenesaw. Come grab a little piece of American history from JustBallGloves.com with the line of Shoeless Joe Jackson Gloves.
In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day we wanted to pay our respects to one of the most legendary players in baseball history, Jackie Robinson. Everything Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us Jackie Robinson believed in also and he was a walking example of what it meant to overcome barriers and break through them without hesitation. Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia in 1919 to a single mother, Mallie Robinson, and four other siblings. The Robinson’s were the only black family on their block and because of that they encountered many hardships. It was those hardships that brought them closer together as a family.
Jackie excelled at sports growing up. When he attended UCLA he won varsity letters in baseball, basketball, football and track. In 1947, after dropping out of college due to a financial situation and being honorably discharged from the army, he was approached by the Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey and was asked to join the team. That was the first time in almost 60 years that a African-American played for the Major Leagues. In 1889 baseball had become segregated and 58 years later Jackie Robinson was going to break that barrier. From there he won several awards and made huge leaps that to this day, still have an impact on baseball.
A lot has changed since the 1940s and we have made a lot of improvements as a country but today we pay tribute to the men and women who stood up and fought for what they believed, because without them we wouldn’t be where we are today. Thank you Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jackie Robinson.