There had been a National League team in Brooklyn, a borough of New York City, since 1890. Nicknamed, among other things, the Bridegrooms, Superbas, and Robins before becoming the Dodgers around 1900 because fans had to dodge trolley cars to reach the ballpark, Ebbets Field. Dodger teams were usually bad before the late 1940s, when Branch Rickey became the president. Rickey had made St. Louis a great franchise by setting up a "farm system" to find talent. He made Brooklyn a great franchise by finding talent in another place--the Negro Leagues. Jackie Robinson was the first, then came catcher Roy Campanella, pitchers Don Newcombe and Joe Black, and others. The Dodgers became one of the great franchises of the mid-20th Century, with six pennants and a world championship in 10 years. In every one of those years Jackie Robinson was a vital team cog.

Career Statistics

Coverage in The Sporting News, 1947

Team Reaction to Robinson Call-Up

The Sporting News, March 12, 1947

Reaction to First Game

The Sporting News, April 23, 1947

Brooklyn's Hero

The Dodgers, including Jackie Robinson, were favorites of sports page cartoonists.

Robinson and Pee Wee Reese

The Dodgers' Hall of Fame double-play combination: Jackie Robinson...

Congratulated by Teammates

Jackie Robinson, a major offensive force from the plate and on the bases.

-"The Jackie Robinson Story"-

Filming "The Jackie Robinson Story"

Jackie Robinson played himself in this celebratory movie.

The Film's Importance

Rachel Robinson

Robinson on the Bases

Jackie Robinson, perhaps the most dazzling and daring baserunner of his time.


No athlete ever played amidst such hostility and open hatred, much of it was expressed in writing. The Dodgers kept most of these threats from Robinson, but he knew about them anyway.

A Fan's Letter

A possible KKK Letter