On this day in 1947, Jackie Robinson becomes the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball.
Robinson joined the army in 1942 as a second lieutenant. He was honorably discharged despite being court-martialed in 1944 for protesting instances of racial discrimination during his service.
In 1945, Branch Rickey, general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, recruited Robinson to join one of the Dodgers’s farm teams.
When he was called up to the Majors he soon became a star infielder and outfielder as well as the National League’s Rookie of the Year. Then, in 1949, Robinson was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player and batting champ.
“Rickey’s faith told him that injustice had to be fought wherever it was found. As for Jackie Robinson, he believed that God had chosen him for this noble purpose. And he knew that if he committed himself to doing this great thing, God would give him the strength he needed to see it through.”
– The Secret of Jackie Robinson’s Greatness: Turning the Other Cheek, By Eric Metaxas, April 15, 2016
“God built me to last” is a line from the 2013 Jackie Robinson biopic 42.