水曜日は、Heroes and Giants
エンジョイシンプルイングリッシュ 6/30 ジャッキー・ロビンソン/Jackie Robinson
Can you imagine a baseball game with everyone wearing a uniform with the number 42 on it?
It might sound strange but this happens every year on April 15th.
This day is called Jackie Robinson day.
On this day, people remember the first African American major league baseball player.
Robinson was born in Georgia in the southern U.S. in 1919.
At this time, black people and white people were not equal.
Black people couldn’t ride the same buses as white people.
They couldn’t sit in the same sports studium, either.
This is what America was like back then.
After being in the army, Robinson became a member of a baseball league that had only black players.
He did very well and was noticed by Branch Rickey.
Rickey was a general manager of a weak major league team called the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The Dodgers had never won the world series.
So Rickey wanted a talented player like Robinson who could help make his team stronger.
At that time, there were no black players in the major leagues.
And Rickey knew it would be very difficult for the first black player.
So Rickey was looking for a good player who would not get angry easily.
When they met, Rickey said,
“I hope that someday you will play in the major leagues.
Until then, please don’t get angry even if people say bad things to you.”
“Mr. Rickey, do you want a ball player who is afraid to fight back?
“No, I want a ball player who has the guts enough not to fight back.”
In 1947, Robinson started to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
He was given the uniform number 42.
He played really well and won the rookie of the year award.
Today, that award is called the Jackie Robinson Award.
In the next 8 years, with Robinson’s help the Dodgers played in the world series 6 times and won the championship in 1955.
Robinson became a successful baseball player.
But it wasn’t easy, for one game the other team said that they would not play against the team that had a black player.
Another time the coach and the players shouted terrible things at Robinson during the whole game.
Robinson’s teammates supported him in those difficult times.
Soon Dodgers fans started to cheer for him.
Because of Robinson’s success in the major leagues many black players joined.
After Robinson retired, he took part in politics and continued to fight to make all people equal.
He died in 1972 at the age of 53.
Jackie Robinson was not only a great baseball player but he was also a gentleman.
That is why he was able to open the door for African Americans in the major leagues.