Many people feel that Jackie Robinson has nothing to do with the history of African Americans on Marthas Vineyard. Indeed he has no direct connection with the Vineyard itself, at least none that we know of, however he battled what all the famous African Americans on the Vineyard battled, racism and discrimination. William Martin was the Vineyard's only whaling captain. Many believed that he didn't belong, for being whaling captain the 1800's was a wealthy position, and people of the Vineyard didn't want a man of color to be making all this money. They didn't want him to be able to live in a nice house or be able to not worry financially; they had a jealous hatred for this successful black man. Jackie Robinson didn't have any fans or anyone behind him; he tried the system and broke the barrier, just like William Martin.
Jackie was born January 31, 1919, in Pasadena, California. In high school,
Jackie excelled in athletics. After high school, Jackie went to one of
the best athletic schools in the nation, in UCLA. When athlete intends
to play a sport in college he or she usually play only one sport, not
Jackie. While in college, Jackie played football, basketball, track, and
baseball. After college Jackie decided to join the armed forces. And from
1939 to 1941 he did.
After serving in the US Army, he decided to play baseball for the Kansas
City Monarchs an all black baseball team that played in an all black baseball
league. In 1946, Jackie met Branch Rickey, the leader of the Brooklyn
Dodgers, and in 1947 signed the first baseball contract ever offered to
an African American baseball player. He was now the first black baseball
player to play in the major leagues. Shortly after his signing then he
got married to Rachel Isum and had three kids Sharon, Jackie Jr., and
David. Jackie Robinson had finally broke Baseball's color barrier.
He was voted the National League's MVP in 1949 when he hit a league-leading
.342 and drove in 124 runs. His 10-year average was .311 and he set several
fielding records for second basemen. Combining these qualities with his
superb batting and fielding skills enabled him to beat the opposition
in a variety of ways.
Sadly on October 24, 1972, Jackie Robinson passed on to the big baseball
field in the sky. With death he left the world with an attitude of fare
play and to give people a chance no matter what their color or creed.
I admire Jackie Robinson. Not only for what he did for the game of baseball
but for what he did for the people who watch the game of baseball.