What year did Jackie Robinson start playing baseball?

Jackie Robinson is one of the most influential figures in the history of baseball. He was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. Robinson’s legacy and impact on the sport of baseball and the civil rights movement are still felt today. In this article, we will explore the history of Jackie Robinson’s career, his impact on baseball and society, and the year he started playing.

Early Life

Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born on January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, to a family of sharecroppers. His mother, Mallie, and father, Jerry, moved the family to Pasadena, California when Robinson was a young child. Robinson attended John Muir High school and later enrolled in Pasadena Junior College, where he excelled in sports. He became the first athlete to letter in four sports, baseball, basketball, football, and track and field.

Military Service

Robinson was drafted into the Army in 1942 during World War II. He was sent to Fort Riley, Kansas, where he was assigned to a segregated unit. During his time in the Army, Robinson was court-martialed for refusing to move to the back of a segregated bus. He was eventually acquitted of all charges and honorably discharged in 1944.

Minor Leagues

Following his discharge, Robinson signed a contract with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues in 1945. He played one season with the Monarchs before being signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in October of 1945.

The Year Jackie Robinson Started Playing

Jackie Robinson officially started playing baseball in the Major Leagues on April 15, 1947. He was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African American to play in MLB.

Breaking the Color Barrier

Robinson’s signing by the Dodgers was a historic moment for baseball and the civil rights movement. It was the first time an African American had been allowed to play in the Major Leagues since the color barrier was established in 1887.

Impact on Baseball

Robinson’s signing and subsequent performance on the field had an immediate impact on the sport of baseball. He quickly became one of the most popular players in the league, and his signing paved the way for more African Americans to play in the Major Leagues.


Robinson’s legacy has continued to live on long after his retirement from baseball. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, becoming the first African American to receive the honor. In 1997, MLB retired Robinson’s number 42, making him the first and only player to have his number retired league-wide.

The Jackie Robinson Foundation

In 1973, Robinson founded the Jackie Robinson Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing college scholarships and support to minority students. The foundation has since awarded more than $75 million in scholarships to over 3,000 students.

Awards and Recognition

Robinson was honored with numerous awards and recognitions during his lifetime and posthumously. In 1962, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. He was also awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2003, the highest honor Congress can bestow.


Jackie Robinson was a groundbreaking figure in Major League Baseball and the civil rights movement. He started playing in the Major Leagues in 1947, breaking the color barrier, and was later inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. His legacy continues to live on through the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which has provided college scholarships to thousands of minority students. Robinson’s impact on baseball and society is still felt today, and his story will continue to be an inspiration for generations to come.

Keywords: Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball, Brooklyn Dodgers, Negro Leagues, Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal, Jackie Robinson Foundation