It was 71 years ago today that Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball. On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play Major League Baseball in the modern era. Jackie Robinson is one of the most important people in the history of baseball and has been a role model in that past and in the present as well. There are many things in his honor including awards, statues, and movies. In 2013, a movie called "42" documented Jackie Robinson's life.

About Jackie

Jackie Robinson was born on January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia.

In high school, he excelled at many sports including baseball, basketball, football, and track. Once he graduated high school, he went to Pasadena junior college and then eventually to UCLA, where he became the first person ever to letter in four sports which were baseball, basketball, football, and track. With what he has accomplished in the major leagues, to many peoples' surprise, he only batted .097 on the UCLA baseball team.

Robinson was drafted into the military due to the 1941 Pearl Harbor attacks. His time in the military was brief as he was discharged because of an ankle injury he suffered during college and because of incidents that he was involved in while in the military.

Negro league career

In 1945, Jackie joined the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro League, which was a league strictly for African-American people. He batted .387 in 47 games and also appeared in the All-Star game that year. His play in the Negro leagues led him to a contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers (now the Los Angeles Dodgers).

Brooklyn Dodgers

Once signed, he was assigned to the Montreal Royals, the Dodgers AAA team. Spending the 1946 season with the team, he led the league in batting average with an average of .349. With segregation occurring in the United States during this time period, Montreal Royals fans were supportive of having Jackie on the team.

With Jackie playing AAA ball, attendance at his games was close to a million total fans.

With Jackie's MVP season in AAA, Jackie was ready for the big leagues. Jackie was selected to the Brooklyn Dodgers' 1947 Opening Day roster. At the conclusion of his first season in the MLB, Jackie won the Rookie Of The Year Award. He put up a slash line of .297/.383/.427 with 175 hits while only striking out 36 times. He also stole 32 bases without getting caught once.

In his 10-year career, all spent with the Brooklyn Dodgers, he has a slash line of .311/.409/.474 with 1,518 hits over 291 strikeouts and also stole 291 bases. He appeared in six All-Star games.

Jackie's legacy

As Jackie broke the color barrier in the MLB, he is considered a historical figure and is one of the most important people not just in the baseball world, but in the non-baseball world as well.

In the baseball world, he is a role model for all MLB players. Jackie's No. 42 was the first number in professional sports to be retired by all teams. Every April 15, MLB players wear Jackie's No. 42 on the back of their jersey's to honor him and the contributions he's made for the game of baseball. The last person to wear No. 42 was baseball legend Mariano Rivera, who retired in 2013 and will be a future member of the Baseball Hall Of Fame.

Without Jackie Robinson, the Jays wouldn't have won the 1993 World Series in which Joe Carter who is black, hit a walk-off HR to win the world series. Without Jackie Robinson, Rickey Henderson wouldn't currently hold the most SB in MLB history. Without Jackie Robinson, Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Reyes, and Dee Gordon may have never had a shot.

There's only one appropriate way to end this off, and that's by saying: Thank you, Jackie Robinson.