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Jackie Robinson Breaking the Color Barrier April 15 1946 was an important event in not only baseball history but also in the history of America Thousands of baseball fans crowded into Ebbits Field to see one man the first black ever to play in Major League Baseball and one man who would eventually put an end to segregation in baseball That one mans name is Jack Roosevelt Robinson otherwise known as Jackie Robinson His struggle to break the color barrier helped set the standards for future black athletes to come Jackie Robinson was born on January 31 1919 to Millie and Jerry Robinson He was the youngest of five children and always wanted his life to be better than it was At age five Jackies father left home and his mother moved the family to California Because his father wasnt around to help they were supported by welfare As a result of this Jackie had to work several jobs to help support the family He was involved in several crimes and robberies with the Pepper Street Gang but with the help of Carl Anderson and Reverend Karl Downs this life of crime didnt last long Both men were able to point Jackie in a positive direction by having him focus on athletics After graduating high school Jackie attended Pasadena Junior College He then received a scholarship to UCLA where he excelled in every sport he played He was the first black to be successful in playing all four varsity team sports Although he was a good athlete Jackie didnt complete his senior year of college Instead he joined the National Youth Administration where he played baseball to entertain campers and worked with children In 1941 Jackie joined the United States Army After graduating from Officers Candidate School he became second lieutenant in what was then a segregated army Jackie protested the US Armys mistreatment of black soldiers in his unit and was later arrested
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