|Jackie Robinson - running back for the |
After college Robinson played semi-pro football until being drafted into the army in 1942. Assigned to a segregated tank battalion he passed officer training school but never saw combat due to another racial confrontation. Riding a non-segregated military bus, Robinson refused the bus driver’s demand that he move to the back, and was subsequently arrested and underwent court martial for the action. By the time Jackie was acquitted of all charges related to the incident the war was effectively over and he was honorably discharged.
|Stealing home. Love this picture!|
|Statue of Jackie and his friend Pee Wee |
Reese erected at Coney Island
Jackie Robinson’s impact as a ballplayer proved to the baseball establishment that bringing black players into the league made competitive sense. This resulted in the most dramatic change in the history of the game. But it was his dignity, intelligent resolve and character in the almost impossible task of representing an entire race that elevated Jackie Robinson to symbol of racial change in this country.
|Jackie Robinson at his induction to the Hall of Fame |
with Branch Rickey and his wife Rachel
The diabetes and heart disease that increasingly sapped his vitality finally took his life and Jackie Robinson died October 24, 1972. He was only 53 years old. Robinson was buried in Cypress Hill Cemetery in Brooklyn. This sprawling cemetery is an appropriate final resting place for Jackie Robinson not only because it is just a few miles east of the site of old Ebbets Field, but it holds many prominent New York civil rights figures from the past two centuries.
|Jackie and Martin Luther King. Click here for a short|
excerpt from a documentary on Jackie Robinson the player and the man
Jackie is buried at a high point in the cemetery. I visited there when I was in Brooklyn with my friend David Sacks. His grave is surrounded by hedges. As the accompanying picture below shows, his tombstone is covered by stones. I think I have found out why. In his eulogy of Robinson, the Reverend Jesse Jackson said the following,
|If you ever go there, bring a rock with you. We are a better country because of the ripples |
of new possibility that came through the life impact of Jackie Robinson.