The history of the team that beat the Tampa Bay Rays 4-2 in the series and that in 1947, when it was based in Brooklyn, made Jackie Robinson the first African-American to debut in the MLB.
April 15, 1947 is a historic date in American baseball. At New York’s Ebbet’s Field, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to debut in the Major League Baseball (MLB) and kicked off the demise of the Black Leagues and the beginning of a new era in professional sports in the country.
The team that was encouraged to break the barrier of segregation he was hired by the Brooklyn Dodgers. The same one that after moving to California was renamed Los angeles dodgers and that this Tuesday he got his seventh title in the MLB.
The Los Angeles team won 3-2 in the World Series, which due to the coronavirus pandemic was played in a health bubble in Texas, before Tampa Bay Rays. This Tuesday he screamed champion for the first time since 1988 and cut a historic 32-year drought with no consecrations.
With their seven World Series trophies (1955, 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981, 1988, and 2020) and 24 National League titles, the Dodgers are one of the most important and iconic teams in American baseball. And that has a lot to do with that event of 73 years ago, which also became a key moment for the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.
The team was founded as Brooklyn Atlantis in 1884 to compete in the National League, one of the two that make up the Major Leagues (the other is the American). In its 136 years of history it had several different denominations. During the years that it was based in that New York neighborhood, it was known as Grays, Bridegrooms, Grooms, superbas, Robins, Trolley Dodgers Y Dodgers, a name he has kept since he moved to Los Angeles in 1958.
Legend has it that the origin of that name is related to the arrival, in the early 1910s, of streetcars to New York City, which was transformed a hazard to pedestrians. The fans of the team had to circumvent the routes of this means of transport to reach the stadium, which is why the name Trolley Dodgers, which translates into Spanish as “Tramway Esquivadores” and that later would lose the first word.
The first years of the team were not dreamed of and in the early 1900s it suffered a crisis, when several of its best players emigrated to the new American League, founded in 1899. However, the beginning of the construction of Ebbet’s Field in 1912 and the arrival of the manager Wilbert Robinson in 1914 they gave new life to the club, which in 1916 reached the World Series for the first time.
In that final, the then Brooklyn Robins – nickname they adopted in honor of their manager – lost 4 to 1 to Boston Red Sox. However, that season marked the beginning of a history of many successes and also the birth of the classic rivalry with the New York Giants (today San Francisco Giants), which remained even after they both moved to the west coast of the United States.
In 1947, the Dodgers marked a historic event with the debut of Jackie Robinson, which forever marked the history of American sports and is still commemorated every year today.
Born in Georgia in 1919, grandson of a slave And with a past as a member of the Armed Forces during World War II, Robinson had begun his career as a baseball player in the Negro Leagues, professional associations made up of African Americans and, to a lesser extent, Latinos.
In the middle of 1945, Albert “Happy” Chandler he became a commissioner of the MLB and opened the door for the incorporation of black players, something that was prohibited until then. Branch Rickey, owner of the Dodgers, seized the opportunity and signed Robinson, who made his debut on April 15, 1947, covering first base for the Dodgers.
In that first season in MLB, Robinson was often the target of racist insults, death threats and assaults from rivals, who threw the ball at his head or spit on his shoes. His arrival also generated an attempted rebellion by his own companions and a threat of boycott by the St. Louis Cardinals. He endured all those situations without losing control and ended up earning everyone’s respect.
That year he was awarded as the Rookie of the Year, a distinction that bears his name today, and he ended up becoming a baseball legend, for his quality as a player and for what he meant for the fight against racial segregation.
In 1962 he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1972, the Dodgers retired “42,” a number he used his entire career with that team. MLB mimicked that recognition in 1997, when it removed that jersey from all of its teams. Although players are allowed to use it every year in the Jackie Robinson Day, held since 2005.
“I think baseball’s proudest moment and its most powerful social statement came on April 15, 1947, when Jackie Robinson first set foot on a Major League baseball field,” he said. Allan “Bud” Blessed, commissioner of the MLB between 1992 and 2015.
With Robinson on the team, the Dodgers first won the World Series in 1955 by defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games. New York Yankees, the most winning team in the history of that competition with 27 titles, 16 of which they had won before that final.