This video provides a wonderful piece of baseball history featuring two men who played a significant part in breaking the color barrier in not only Major League Baseball….but rather in the world of sports….and we are overjoyed to have this piece of “pure gold” in our treasure chest of memories….as these two legendary hall of fame members deserve to be remember in a world too soon forgetting.
Jack Roosevelt Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was an American professional baseball player who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era….as Robinson broke the baseball color barrier when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base on April 15, 1947. When the Dodgers signed Robinson, they heralded the end of racial segregation in professional baseball that had relegated black players to the Negro leagues since the 1880’s. Robinson had an exceptional 10-year MLB career….when he was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947….was an All-Star for six consecutive seasons from 1949 through 1954….and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949…..thus becoming the first black player so honored. Robinson played in six World Series and contributed to the Dodgers’ 1955 World Series championship. In 1997, MLB retired his uniform number 42 across all major league teams….and was the first pro athlete in any sport to be so honored. MLB also adopted a new annual tradition, “Jackie Robinson Day” for the first time on April 15, 2004….on which every player on every team wears No. 42. Robinson’s character….with his use of nonviolence and his unquestionable talent challenging the traditional basis of segregation which then marked many other aspects of American life…..while influencing the culture and contributed significantly to the civil rights movement. Robinson also was the first black television analyst in MLB and the first black vice president of a major American corporation, Chock full o’Nuts. In the 1960’s….as he helped establish the Freedom National Bank, an African-American-owned financial institution based in Harlem, New York. After his death in 1972, in recognition of his achievements on and off the field….Robinson was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
Roy Campanella (November 19, 1921 – June 26, 1993), nicknamed “Campy“, was an American baseball player, primarily as a catcher. The Philadelphia native played for the Negro Leagues and Mexican League for several seasons before entering the minor leagues in 1946. He made his Major League Baseball (MLB) debut in 1948. His playing career ended when he was paralyzed in an automobile accident in January 1958. Widely considered to be one of the greatest catchers in the history of the game….Campanella played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940’s and 1950’s. After he retired as a player as a result of the accident, Campanella held positions in scouting and community relations with the Dodgers. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.
Campy, Robbie, Pee Wee, Sandy and The Duke were the backbone of the mighty Brooklyn Dodgers back when Bone Daddy, the original Sportsphile, was playing games of whiffle ball in his back yard during the 1950’s….so this video really brings back some wonderful memories.