3 Black Pioneers in the world of Sports Pt.1

  1. Jackie Robinson: History was made on April 15th, 1947. Jackie Robinson made his debut in Major League Baseball for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson dealt with harsh racism and belittling from fans and teammates. Despite being alienated early on, Robinson let his play do the talking, winning the Rookie of the Year honors. Robinson would soon win the National League Most Valuable Player award in his second season. Robinson would use his platform to talk about issues from racial discrimination to segregation and influenced the MLB to recruit more people of color into their sport. Jackie Robinson is a pioneer in the truest sense and will be a name that’s remembered for the test of time. I recommend watching the movie “42” to get an in-depth look at Jackie’s life (R.I.P Chadwick Boseman).

2. Satchel Paige: Jackie Robinson was the first black man in Major League Baseball, but before that, it was the Negro Leagues where blacks could only play baseball, and no player in the said league was more impactful then Satchel Paige. Paige was a showman who drew crowds in Birmingham with his rocket arm. Satchel played all over the world. He kept records of his stats from his career which suggested he played for over 250 teams and had over 2,000 wins in his career. He even had his own team called the Satchel Paige All-Stars, who faced off against the New York Yankees in an exhibition game! A year after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the Majors, Satchel Paige got a shot with the Cleveland Indians at the age of 42 years young. He is still to this day the oldest player to make his debut in Major League Baseball. Paige eventually got his recognition, becoming the first African-American Pitcher inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971.

3. Jessie Owens: Jesse Owens is considered as one of the greatest track and field athletes of all time, but his lasting legacy came during the 1936 Olympics. Owens wanted to showcase his skill but the United States had original plans of boycotting the Olympics due to the games taking place in Berlin, Germany. This is during the early years of Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship of Germany, and the U.S didn’t stand for Hitler’s discriminatory actions towards Jewish People. The U.S still didn’t know the full details of the horrific treatment, and thus the division between boycotting and playing ensued, with the Olympic committee head Avery Brundage deciding to send the U.S to play for the athletes' sake as he wanted to keep politics out of it. At the 1936 games, Jesse Owens set an unbelievable achievement by going 4 for 4 with gold in the 100 and 200-meter dash, the long jump, and the 4x100 relay. Only Carl Lewis was able to match the 4-gold medal performance in track and field in 1984.

Thanks for Reading! If you have any suggestions on who you like for me to cover next you can send an email at caesarwilson2@gmail.com.

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