January is the month where we honor two African-American legends each year: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and Jackie Robinson. Both had a major impact on establishing character in our nation's chemical makeup. We all know King's story but Jackie Robinson was more than a Hall Of Fame Baseball player. Jackie Robinson was the man who helped change the game: the game of baseball and the game of life.
Robinson was supremely gifted as an athlete. At UCLA, he became the school's first student-athlete to win four Varsity letters: football, basketball, baseball and track and field. In Track and Field, Jackie Robinson broke NCAA records. In Football, Robinson was 1 of 4 black student-athletes on the team. That number made UCLA college football's most integrated team at the time.
After college, Jackie Robinson participated in the armed forces and intercollegiate athletics as an athletic director and coach. Before Robinson got his chance to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball, he started making a name for himself in the Negro Leagues. Robinson played for the Kansas City Monarchs, where he was teammates with the legendary Satchel Paige.
The biggest defining moment for Jackie Robinson was when he became the first African-American to play in the MLB on April 15, 1947. In order for that day to happen, Robinson had to endure the ugliness of racism and prejudice on a daily basis. He practiced non-violence as he led by example of determination and pride. Like Martin, Jackie had a DREAM. It was the same dream many African-Americans had during that time - to be treated as equal human beings because it was right.
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