Batting for a Better World
By Alex B. Liberty Oaks
Imagine this… a world where African American people couldn't play in sports! Jackie Robinson was asked by Branch Rickey to play in the Major Leagues and break the color line. That is why I think he is perfect for the Elie Wiesel Foundation award.The criteria is an individual that dedicates their life to fight against indifference,intolerance, and injustice.Jackie would be perfect because he didn’t scream back when the crowd shouted insults. While he was in the Major Leagues Branch Rickey supported Jackie. Branch fought for civil rights also. He fought for the indifference of white and black people through sports.
Jackie grew up in a very hard life. When the white people treated him badly for too long he decided to join the Pepper Street Gang. They caused a lot of trouble to the white towns folk. Jackie was having a hard enough life when he quit the Pepper Street Gang. Jackie got arrested when a white person hit his car and made him block the road. He was refusing to be arrested and finally he gave up.After he was arrested he just spent time playing sports. He was invited to two colleges UCLA and USC to play sports for them. Jackie decided to go to UCLA . His brother helped him decide before his brother was hospitalized from a car accident that almost killed him. Jackie was an exceptional athlete. During his second year at UCLA, he was considered the star of the football team. When Jackie got older he started playing baseball for the Kansas City Monarchs. The Kansas City Monarchs were in the Negro League where only black people could play.
Jackie played baseball during a controversial time. No doubt,black people couldn't play in the Major Leagues .They wouldn’t let the Kansas City Monarchs stay at a hotel because of the color of their skin. Jackie was asked by Branch Rickey to play in the Major Leagues - the white only major leagues. Even when Jackie joined the Brooklyn Dodgers professional baseball team, he still was not allowed into white only hotels. He got a lot of threatening notes from white fans saying ‘’ stop playing or we will kill you!’’ Jackie didn’t like these notes at all! Jackie was treated poorly by white fans but he did not respond and send notes back towards the white fans. He kept playing in the Major Leagues and he never gave up even while feeling threatened and mistreated. Jackie should win the Elie Wiesel Foundation Award because he started making indifference disappear in baseball. He did this by playing on the Brooklyn Dodgers this broke the color barrier and provided the way for future black athletes. After Jackie’s retirement from baseball he continued to make an impact on the world.
Jackie was approached by the president of Chock full O’Nuts and got an offer to work at the company.Jackie worked in New York ,and became the vice president of the company. Jackie fundraised money for the NAACP. NAACP worked for equal rights between white and black skin. He appeared at many of the NAACP’s rallies while he worked at Chock full O’Nuts. Jackie helped strengthen the company’s reputation.
He also worked at the Freedom Bank. The Freedom Bank became one of the largest African American owned banks in the USA. Jackie praised money to start the bank.Jackie establish the Freedom Bank for fairness to African Americans. The bank was owned and operated by African Americans..They offered loans to African American companies in the community. Jackie was the operator of the Freedom Bank. Jackie believed that African American could own businesses.
Jackie was brave to accept Branch’ Rickey’s offer to play in the white only Major League. He was also extremely brave because he kept playing baseball despite the threatening notes he received and the crowd yelling insults at him from the stands.
After he retired they started writing a lot of songs about Jackie such as ‘’ The Jackie Robinson Blues”, ’’The Jackie Robinson Boogie’’, and ‘’ Did you see Jackie hit that ball.’’ He also starred in the movie ‘’ Jackie Robinson’s Story.’’ During the filming of his movie ‘’Jackie’s History,’’ many people interviewed him to hear his story.
`Some of the awards that Jackie received while in the Major Leagues were the Rookie of the Year and MVP. Jackie was a great 3rd baseman. This helped him win the Rookie of the Year award. Jackie worked hard which helped him win these honors.
Jackie should win the Elie Wiesel Foundation award. He fits the criteria perfectly because he dedicated his life through his actions to fight against indifference, intolerance, and injustice. Jackie DESERVES this award for all his work against segregation. Just remember that Jackie was Batting for a Better World .
Hanft, Joshua E. Jackie Robinson. New York, NY: Baronet, 1996. Print. Citation 1
Raatma, Lucia. Jackie Robinson. Milwaukee, WI: World Almanac Library, 2002. Print. Citation 2
Santella, Andrew. Jackie Robinson Breaks the Color Line. New York: Children's, 1996. Print. citation3