On Nov. 18, 1949, Brooklyn Dodgers infielder Jackie Robinson was named the National League MVP after his third season with the club. After breaking the color barrier in April 1947, Robinson became the first African-American player to win the MVP Award.
Along with being voted MVP, Robinson’s early career with the Dodgers included a Rookie of the Year Award.
Robinson appeared in 156 games during his MVP campaign, hitting .342/.432/.528 with 16 home runs, 12 triples, 38 doubles and 124 RBI. His 156 games played, .342 batting average and 37 stolen bases all established new career highs, which held as such once Robinson retired.
Additionally, Robinson led the Majors that year with 37 stolen bases, and was the NL batting champion. The 1949 season was also the first of a six-year run during which Robinson was an All-Star.
Robinson spent the entirety of his 10-year career with the Dodgers, batting .311/.409/.474 with 137 home runs, 273 triples, 734 RBIs and 197 stolen bases.
He ranks ninth on the Dodgers’ all-time batting average leaders list, and 13th all-time in doubles and stolen bases.
Robinson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962 and is honored every year on April 15 when all players in the Majors wear his iconic No. 42 jersey.
The Dodgers retired Robinson’s number, along with Roy Campanella (No. 39) and Sandy Koufax (No. 32) in June 1972.
Jackie Robinson statue
To commemorate the 70th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier, the Dodgers unveiled a statue of him at Dodger Stadium on April 15, 2017.
Team president and CEO Stan Kasten, part owner Magic Johnson, Sandy Koufax, Don Newcombe and manager Dave Roberts and several others were among those in attendance. Vin Scully made his second public appearance at Dodger Stadium since retiring at the end of the 2016 regular season.
Roberts has led the team to the statue each of the past two years on Jackie Robinson Day.
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