On June 24, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke from third base and stole home for the first time in his Major League career. The exhilarating play additionally was the first stolen base of his 10-year career with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Robinson’s swipe came in a road matchup for Brooklyn as they faced the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field. The Dodgers took a lead in the second inning on Pee Wee Reese’s two-run home run. However, Pittsburgh tied it in the bottom half when Billy Cox and Elbie Fletcher each hit an RBI single off Ralph Branca.
That set the stage for Robinson’s awe-inspiring play three innings later. After Al Gionfriddo’s one-out walk in the fifth, Robinson hit a grounder to third base but beat out a potential double play.
Carl Furillo’s single advanced Robinson to third base, and Furillo then stole second. With Dixie Walker batting at the plate and on a 2-1 count, Robinson began to take a lead off third base as he waited for Fritz Ostermueller to go into his windup.
Robinson then sprinted for home and slid under the tag of Dixie Howell. Robinson finished his career with 19 steals of home plate, tying with Franke Frisch for ninth all-time.
Of course, Robinson’s most famous time stealing home plate came against the New York Yankees in the eighth inning of Game 1 of the 1955 World Series. He was called safe, much to the dismay of Hall-of-Fame catcher Yogi Berra, who even in retirement insisted Robinson was out.
The Dodgers icon racked up 197 stolen bases in 1,382 career games. Robinson led the National League with 29 stolen bases when he was named Rookie of the Year in 1947, and he paced the Majors with 37 two years later en route to earning the MVP Award.
The 1949 season also marked the start of six consecutive All-Star Game selections for Robinson.