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Baseball Legend Jackie Robinson Honored With Google Doodle
Google is honoring the 94th birthday of legendary baseball player Jackie Robinson today with a homepage doodle.
The Google logo had adopted the looping script of the Dodgers, with a drawing of Robinson in the middle, clad in No. 42 and ready to swing.
Robinson was born in 1919 in Cairo, Georgia and went on to become the first African-American to play in the major leagues. According to his bio, Robinson was not only a gifted baseball player, but also excelled at football, basketball, and track. In the early 1940s, he played football for the semi–professional Honolulu Bears, but a career in football was cut short due to the start of World War II.
Robinson joined the U.S. Army during the war, but was court-martialed during boot camp when he refused to move to the back of a segregated bus. The charges were eventually dropped and he received an honorable discharge.
It was at this point that Robinson turned his attention to baseball. At the time, pro baseball leagues were segregated, but he was eventually recruited by Branch Rickey, a vice president with the Brooklyn Dodgers, to help de-segregate the sport. He started out with the Montreal Royals and was ultimately promoted to the Dodgers, but his success was not without its hardships.
“Even some of his new teammates objected to having an African–American on their team. People in the crowds sometimes jeered at Robinson, and he and his family received threats,” according to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
In his first year, Robinson hit 12 home runs and helped the Dodgers win the National League pennant. But it was not until 1955 that the Dodgers won the ultimate contest – the World Series. Robinson retired in 1957 and went on to focus on business, as well as civil rights.
Robinson died in 1972 from heart problems and complications from diabetes.
A movie about Robinson’s life starring Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman, 42, is scheduled to open on April 12.
For more of Google’s doodles, see the slideshow below. Recently, the company has honored Frank Zamboni, the first computer programmer Ada Lovelace, Amelia Earhart, as well as artist Keith Haring, zipper pioneer Gideon Sundback, and even commemorated its own 14th birthday with a birthday cake doodle.
By Chloe Albanesius, PCMag