Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson and helped break the color barrier

Last April 12 was Opening Day for 42: The True Story of an American Legend, honoring Dodgers’ Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson (1919-1972). Chadwick Boseman played the man who broke MLB’s color barrier, with Harrison Ford as Brooklyn executive Branch Rickey (1881-1965). As David Q. Voight wrote in the Biographical Dictionary of American Sports (2000): “Rickey’s innovations as baseball executive, dominant role in the racial integration of organized baseball, and stimulus to the game’s expansion place him among this century’s most influential baseball leaders.” This year marks his centennial in the baseball front office. Becoming manager/executive director of the AL St. Louis Browns in 1913, his remarkable vision—and Christian convictions—created a Hall of Fame (1967) icon. Rickey was a bright, diligent student who worked through Ohio Wesleyan College and the University of Michigan Law School by teaching and coaching sports. He played pro baseball from 1903-07, a catcher batting .239 Read More

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