Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Salute to the 15 Greatest U.S. Armed Forces Veteran MLB Players

Memorial Day Weekend Series- Part 2 of 16

No. 15 Jackie Robinson

Despite a life cut far too short by medical issues at just 53, Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson was a remarkable individual who has left a lasting legacy.

Although his on the field contributions were amongst the best in history, Robinson's impact on Major League League baseball and the country as a whole extended well beyond the white lines and his relatively brief 10-year career.

After graduating from UCLA in 1942, he was drafted by the U.S. Army and went on to be commissioned as a second lieutenant. Upon receiving an honorable discharge in 1944, Robinson briefly coached college athletics before starring in the "Negro Leagues."

Branch Rickey of the Brooklyn Dodgers signed Robinson in 1946 and he made history one year later by breaking the "color barrier" as the first African-American to play Major League Baseball.

Jackie spent most of his career playing second base, where he excelled with the glove. He also provided a well balanced offensive threat— combining speed, power and hitting to help the Dodgers reach the World Series a remarkable six times over his 10 seasons.

Honors included six All-Star appearances, MLB Rookie of the Year, and the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949. Overall, he batted .311, hit 137 HRs and stole 197 bases while amassing a .409 OBP and .474 SLG in his career.


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