Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in the major leagues on April 15, 1947. He went on to play 10 seasons for the Brooklyn Dodgers, winning the NL Rookie of the Year award in 1947 and the MVP in 1949 and leading the Dodgers to six league pennants and a World Series title in 1955. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1962.
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The Dodgers were down 6-4 in the eighth inning of Game 1 of the 1955 World Series with Jackie Robinson on third base and Whitey Ford pitching.
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Robinson breaks for the plate for one of his patented steals of home.
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Catcher Yogi Berra waits for the pitch from Ford.
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The Dodgers lost 6-5 but they won the Series in seven games, their first and only world championship in Brooklyn.
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Robinson served in the "Black Panthers" 761st Tank Battalion during World War II but never saw combat. He was nearly court martialled for refusing to sit in the back of a bus.
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Robinson played for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues in 1945.
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Robinson signed his contract to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 10, 1947.
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On April 15, 1947, Robinson's first day in the majors, he lined up with teammates (from left) John Jorgensen, Pee Wee Reese and Ed Stanky.
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The architect of the Brooklyn Dodgers dynasty, Branch Rickey, chats with Robinson at the Chicago Baseball Writers' Association annual dinner on Jan. 18, 1948.
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Robinson is tagged out by Phillies third baseman Ralph Caballero on May 2, 1948, at Philadelphia's Shibe Park.
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Robinson steals home against Braves pitcher Bill Voiselle and catcher Bill Salkeld on Aug. 22, 1948, at Ebbets Field.
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Robinson with wife, Rachel, and their son David at their home in Stamford, Conn., on Dec. 13, 1956, the day Robinson was traded from the Dodgers to the rival New York Giants. Robinson refused to report to the Giants and retired instead."
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Robinson poses with other black stars from his era, (from left) Larry Doby, Don Newcombe, Luke Easter and Roy Campanella. Doby was the first black player in American League history.
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Reese, Robinson and Preacher Roe celebrate the Dodgers' 5-3 victory in Game 3 of the 1952 World Series at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees would win the Series in seven games.
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Robinson slides hard into Yankees third baseman Gil McDougald during the 1955 World Series.
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Robinson and the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., both received honorary doctorates from Howard University in June 1957. The men shared a belief in pacifism in the face of intolerance.
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Robinson hits a punching bag held by Cassius Clay in a New York gym in March 1963. Less than a year later, Clay would win the world heavyweight title with a victory over Sonny Liston.
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Robinson becomes the first black player inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame on July 23, 1962. He was inducted in his first year of eligibility.
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Robinson, pictured here with commissioner Bowie Kuhn, threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Game 2 of the World Series on Oct. 15, 1972 -- the 25th anniversary of his major league debut.
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Robinson's wife and son, Don, leave the Hall of Famer's funeral on Oct. 27, 1972. The Rev. Jesse Jackson eulogized the man who broke baseball's color barrier.
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Robinson on the SI cover of May 5, 1997.
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The U.S. Postal Service honored Jackie Robinson with this commemorative stamp in 1999.
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