Jackie Robinson was chosen for an opportunity of a lifetime. On April 14, 1947, Robinson stepped onto the baseball field breaking the barrier of racial segregation preventing people of color from playing in the Major League. Before then blacks were only permitted to the Negro Baseball Leagues since 1880’s.
Jackie Robinson was not only the first black to play in the Major League baseball arena but he was also the first black to receive the National League’s Most Valuable Player Award in 1949. He also received the Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom, became the first black television analyst in MLB, and the first black vice president of a major American corporation, Chock full o’Nuts.
Why was Robinson chosen? Was it purely due to his athletic abilities? Most likely there were other talented black baseball players in the 1940s. However, Robinson was chosen because he was equipped both physically and mentally. With courage and conviction, Robinson could endure ridicule, adversity and persecution while becoming a pioneer in baseball history. Remember this occurred years before Brown versus Board of Education and all at least a decade before the Civil Rights movement.
There comes a time when we must pass through uncharted territories with courage on our backs, truth on our belts, faith as our shield and peace at our feet. We must choose to leave fear behind and press forward toward what lies ahead. Take on the challenge and endure if we must.