“Feels so good to be a Crooklyn Dodger!” – Masta Ace “Crooklyn Dodgers“
The day was April 15th, 1947. Seventy years ago today, to be exact. It was Opening Day for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the historic Ebbets Field stadium which was conveniently located in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. However, this Opening Day was way different than the Dodgers’ previous ones. Today, a young man by the name of Jackie Robinson who wore the number “42” on his jersey would be taking the field as the starting first baseman, batting second. On this day, seventy years ago, Jackie Robinson single-handedly broke the color barrier in Major League Sports.
Although there were rumors that people would be boycotting the game due to their disapproval of Robinson’s integration, the game actually went very well. The Dodgers would go on to win 5-3 against the Boston Braves (now known as the Atlanta Braves). When Robinson’s number was called on the P.A. system as the Brooklyn Dodgers’ starting first baseman, the crowd applauded “politely” according to sports editor Ed Silverman who was at Ebbets Field on this historic day in 1947 to witness history. In a new article for The New Yorker which commemorates the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball, Ed Silverman revisits April 15th, 1947 and talks about what the day was like:
“I deliberately sat in the bleachers, which were predominantly filled with black attendees. The women were all well coifed. Many wore lovely dresses and light coats. The men were all nicely attired. It was more like going to church than to a ballgame.”
Jackie Robinson would go on to have a stellar first season in his Major League Baseball career and became the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947. Robinson also served as a Major League Baseball All-Star for six consecutive seasons from 1949 through 1954 and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949, becoming the first Black player to do so. All in a day’s work for a legendary sports giant like Mr. Robinson. All in a day’s work!
Check out some cool footage via MLB.com of Jackie Robinson’s opening day, here.