On April 11, 1947, for the first time in baseball history, an African-American played with a major league team. The player was Jackie Robinson, who played with the Brooklyn Dodgers. That first game was an exhibition game with the New York Yankees.
Robinson had been signed to the major league team on April 9. In the 10 years as a second baseman for the Dodgers, he batted .311, stole 197 bases, had 1,518 hits in 1,382 games, and played in six World Series. His performance on the field and his ability to handle the pressures of his role became an inspiration to all who fought bigotry.
He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. He passed away 10 years later on Oct. 24, 1972. In 1990 Life named him one of the hundred most influential Americans of the 20th century.