Jackie Robinson signed his first Major League contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 10, 1947, paving the way to breaking the color barrier five days later.
Robinson transitioning from the International League to the Majors was nothing short of challenging and downright harrowing for the Dodgers legend. He was harassed by fans and thrown at by opposing teams on a regular basis.
There were threats from other clubs to strike if Robinson remained in the league, but he and the Dodgers stayed the course. Robinson appeared in 151 games, batting .297/.383/.427 with 31 doubles, five triples, 12 home runs, 48 RBI and 29 stolen bases.
Robinson won the first ever Rookie of the Year Award and also finished fifth in voting for 1947 MVP. Robinson went on to spend the entirety of his 10-year career with Brooklyn. The six-time All-Star was named MVP in 1949, and helped the franchise win their first World Series in 1955.
MLB recognizes his legacy every April 15 with Jackie Robinson Day. All on-field personnel are permitted to wear Robinson’s No. 42 jersey that otherwise is retired across the sport.
The Dodgers honored Robinson on Jackie Robinson Day in 2017 with the unveiling of a statue installed at Dodger Stadium.