Jackie Robinson Day

"I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me... All I ask is that you respect me as a human being."

Sunday, April 15 is Jackie Robinson Day. The day the historical athlete, iconic man of baseball is remembered.

Born Jack Roosevelt Robinson on January 31, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia, Robinson broke though the racist color line that kept African American men from playing baseball in the major leagues. Robinson played for Brooklyn Dodgers as an infielder and outfielder from 1947 to 1956.

Robinson excelled at other sports, beyond baseball having played football, basketball, and track.

Despite inhumane treatment from whites both on and off the baseball diamond, Robinson managed several accolades. He led the National League with the most in stolen bases and was the league's Rookie of the Year. In 1949 Robinson became the league's Most Valuable Player

"Plenty of times I wanted to haul off when somebody insulted me for the color of my skin", said Robinson. "But I had to hold to myself. I knew I was kind of an experiment. The whole thing was bigger than me."

Robinson was labeled as the best baseball player of all time.

Robinson once said, "The way I figured it, I was even with baseball and baseball with me. The game had done much for me, and I had done much for it."

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

Outside of baseball Robinson became a businessman. He also became involved in the Civil Rights era as an activist for racism. He was a spokesperson for the NAACP.

Robinson's autobiography, I Never Had It Made, was published in 1972.

In 1984 Robinson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honour for an American civilian.

Read The Root's They Could Have Been Jackie Robinson