January 16, 2012
FROM THE ARCHIVES: LEGENDARY:
Ten years before Martin Luther King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and became an icon in the civil rights movement, Jackie Robinson was already a trailblazer, opening doors for black Americans by integrating major league baseball.
Seven years before that, before he'd taken the field as a Brooklyn Dodger on April 15, 1947, he was a nationally known football player at UCLA, electrifying fans at the Coliseum with his spectacular broken-field running, a star halfback on the school's first undefeated team.
The Coliseum Commission and UCLA will honor his memory today by placing a plaque in the Coliseum's Memorial Court of Honor. It will honor his accomplishments in breaking the racial barrier in baseball, his work as a civil rights exponent and his days as a Bruin, when he became the only athlete in the school's history to win letters in football, baseball, basketball and track in the same year. [...]
Robinson, who died in 1972 at age 53, earned his greatest fame in baseball, yet "Jackie Robinson" is the answer to one of baseball's most amazing trivia questions: What player who batted .097 in college later became National League most valuable player and was voted into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot?
[originally posted: 4/14/05]
Posted by oj at January 16, 2012 12:01 AM