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Exhibition Baseball Americana

Jackie Robinson (1919–1972) in Kansas City Monarchs uniform, Negro American League, 1945. Reproduction. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (113.00.00)

And Then There Was One

Jackie Robinson breaking major league baseball’s color line in 1947 and shouldering the burden alone was not the original plan. Instead, Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey had wanted to sign Robinson, whom he had personally vetted, along with four other Negro Leaguers. But feeling local political pressure to integrate his club before a city election in 1945, Rickey quickly signed Robinson to a farm team. The others would have to wait until Rickey could control the process himself and share in its success.