Texas State Updates: Jackie Robinson

Saturday Evening Post offers
insight into integration of baseball

Jackie Robinson

By David King

As part of Black History Month, the Saturday Evening Post – which launched Volume 283 in January – reached back into its voluminous archive for a story about one of the biggest moments in the history of race relations in the United States.

The integration of major league baseball, which in the 1940s was the national pastime, helped launch the civil rights movement. It came before the military was integrated and before the Supreme Court struck down “separate but equal” schools and public facilities.

The Post’s story is a fly-on-the-wall view of the first meeting between the player chosen to break the color line, Jackie Robinson, and the man determined to make it happen, Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey, and includes this famous exchange:

Rickey’s voice rose, “Suppose I’m a player in the heat of an important ball game!” He drew back and prepared to charge at him. “Suppose I collide with you at second base! When I get up, I yell, ‘You dirty black—’” He finished the excoriation and then said calmly, “What do you do?”

Robinson blinked. He licked his lips and swallowed. “Mr. Rickey,” he puzzled, “do you want a ballplayer who’s afraid to fight back?”

“I want a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back!” Rickey exclaimed almost savagely. He paced across the floor again and returned. “You’ve got to do this job with base hits and stolen bases and fielding ground balls, Jackie. Nothing else!”

Read the full story at the Saturday Evening Post.

Find access to the archives of many periodicals through Alkek Library’s electronic databases.

Click here for more on Black History Month at Texas State or read about the integration of Texas State University.

Keep it friendly! Comment moderation will follow our Social Media Policy.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s