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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Robinson breaks baseball's color barrier
By Larry Schwartz
Special to ESPN.com


April 15, 1947

The dream of black America comes to life when Jackie Robinson becomes the first African-American to play in the majors this century. The 28-year-old Robinson, signed by Branch Rickey two years ago, bats second and plays first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field in their season opener.

"It was the most eagerly anticipated debut in the annals of the national pastime," wrote Robert Lipsyte and Pete Levine in "Idols of the Game." "It represented both the dream and the fear of equal opportunity, and it would change forever the complexion of the game and the attitudes of Americans."

Robinson goes hitless in three at-bats against Boston Braves' right-hander Johnny Sain, but does score the winning run in the Dodgers' 5-3 victory. At first base, a new position for Robinson (he was a second baseman), he records 11 putouts without an error.

The crowd is 25,623, with a majority reportedly African-Americans who have come to see their new hero.





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