On This Day in 1947, Jackie Robinson Debuts for Brooklyn Dodgers

(Photo Credit: jackierobinson.com)

Just in case you might have missed the date on your calendars, April 15 is Jackie Robinson Day, the annual event when current players around the MLB wear No. 42 to commemorate the debut of one of the most influential players the game has ever seen.

Despite the ballparks being empty this year due to the pandemic hiatus, everyone who has even a tiny shred of baseball blood will still take a few moments to remember the legendary Robinson in some shape or form.

On this day in 1947, Robinson made his MLB debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers, going 0-for-3, but reaching base on an error and scoring the go-ahead run on a Pete Reiser double. The importance of that debut was that Robinson became the first black player to play in the major leagues in the 20th century after decades of racial segregation.

Thanks to our friends at baseball-reference.com,  it’s quite simple to drift back in time upon accessing the box scores from one of the most important seasons in baseball history.

The game was held at Ebbetts Field against the Boston Braves. Robinson started at first base and hit second. Reiser batted third and played center field, going 2-for-2 with the aforementioned double, two walks, three runs scored and three RBI.

Brooklyn won the game 5-3. Joe Hatten started the game for the Dodgers, allowing one earned run on six hits and three walks over six full innings of work. Righty reliever Hal Gregg picked up the victory while Hugh Casey registered the save.

Consequently, after finishing the 1947 season with a .297/.383/.427 slash line alongside 31 doubles, 12 homers and 29 stolen bases, Robinson was named the MLB’s first-ever Rookie of the Year.

Two seasons later, Robinson earned the 1949 National League MVP award following a campaign of hitting an incredible .342/.432/.528 with 38 doubles, 12 triples, 16 homers, 124 RBI and 37 steals.

Robinson was also part of the 1955 World Series winning Dodgers squad, and while he did not perform up to standards by some pundits that series, he entered the history book nonetheless by stealing home in Game 1.

If you never had the opportunity to read our story about Robinson and the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers, it’s a concise account of one of the greatest squads the franchise has ever put onto the field.

The historical importance Jackie Robinson had on the game of baseball, coupled with his impressive performance once he got the chance on the big stage, was why he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first appearance on the ballot in 1962.


Jackie will always be remembered and revered, not just by those close to the Dodgers, but by all fans of the game, regardless of their team affiliation.


28 thoughts on “On This Day in 1947, Jackie Robinson Debuts for Brooklyn Dodgers

  1. I remember that day well. Not that I was there when Robinson came up, but for the years I was freaking out because my taxes weren’t done yet.

    That day was of course history making, but it would take 17 more years to have a signed Civil Rights Act. How many generations will it take before the confederate flag is nothing but a distant memory for everyone?

    Hate to say it, but I think Jackie was out at home.

    I checked the peak dates again this morning. They’ve been moved out. I don’t see baseball in either Florida or Arizona anytime within 90 days, but especially in Florida. Those leaders are WAY behind.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Florida’s governor DeSantis is absolutely on top of things. Just declared the WWE an essential business.
      I think he’s the perfect successor to Trump when the time comes.


  2. From the many posts in here, it is apparent that intelligence and smarts are two separate issues. Thank you Jeff and Scoop for the demonstration.


    1. We’re very obviously on opposite ends on most every political and social question but you’re certainly entitled to your opinion.
      Are you actually saying that I’m intelligent or have smarts (obviously not both) or have I misinterpreted your comment?
      And lastly, although I have asked you more than once, you still haven’t told me under what name I might have known you from other sites. I don’t intend to use that information to slam you. I’m just curious.


  3. JR day without baseball. Just isn’t right. Lets keep politics off here guys. It doesn’t matter who did what, It happened and we are in the middle of it. Second guessing anyone serves absolutely no purpose and has nothing to do with baseball. Placing blame after the fact is easy. Takes no intelligence what so ever.


  4. Figuring out what went wrong where and how to fix it requires no intelligence at all?

    I beg to differ. What requires no intelligence at all is to f*ck it up. The people who are stumblin fumblin bumblin their way through this need to be held accountable. You don’t want to do that, fine. But there are plenty who do.

    There is no baseball to talk about so talking about the coronavirus should be off limits? I don’t see why. But I can certainly see why some might not want to talk about those who are screwing this up.


    1. Enough spin bullshit. I am so tired of the punk-ass cheap shots. If you have to spew a bunch of hate and political bullshit shops, show some smarts and shut your fucking trap.


      1. Molly Knight is so bored she did a piece on ball players and their dogs. Extra points if you know Joc’s dog’s name.

        Florida still to peak on May 6th. Arizona May 2nd. South Dakota May 2nd. California April 19. That’s what capable leadership can do. Washington D.C.? Who cares. When will testing be available? Nobody has a clue, least of all those who are supposed to see it gets done. Prominent scientists have bad news for White House regarding antibody tests. That news is they are a thousand times infinity wrong on any and all projections.

        They took a poll among players on starting a bi-coastal season in May and the responses ranged from no to hell no to “ef you! I’m under a stay at home order.” I may have made that last part up.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Scoop, I really enjoy your company on this site, but for the last couple of weeks it’s been everyday with the negative posts, trying to find someone to blame for this, it’s not any one persons fault. Could it have been handled better possibly, could it have been handled worse, definitely.
    We get it, you think president trump has done a horrible job with this, you don’t need to keep saying it every day.


  6. Thank you for your p.o.v. Keith.

    “Could it have been have been handled better? Possibly?”

    Possibly? Seriously?

    Trump is an idiot. People are dying and he continues to be an idiot.

    Talk among yourselves. I’m out.


  7. And the beat goes on…
    What’s it gonna take to sign Mookie… He wants to be as close as can to Mike Trout I’d say…Love to see him roaming CF at the Ravine for a long term….
    With a year of low impact exercise with a trainer I’d say we’ll (not us dammit) see what Scott Verdugo is made of…


    1. When I first read your comment I thought you meant he wanted to play with Trout. You mean he wants to make the same kind of money Trout does. He probably could have gotten close (on an annual basis if not length of contract) but I think the financial impact of the pandemic may really alter the kind of contracts teams will offer next winter.
      Maybe the Sox would be willing to trade (Alex) Verdugo back to us if we asked real nicely. 🙂


  8. I get what Scoop is saying, and I think he has the right to say it, just not here. Yes, it is true there is no baseball being played, so nothing new really to report. But MLBTR manages to do a new story day after day. I get it, we are all frustrated at the lack of action, and that is on the powers that be. But placing blame on any one person, well, that is ridiculous. All we get is bad news, and we all are sick and tired of it. But bitching about it on a baseball blog is not going to change a damn thing. Ya wanna bitch? Okay, how about the fact that because of an disease no one can seem to get a handle on, we are being denied a chance to see maybe the best chance this team has had to field a World Champion. I want the games back, but more than that, I want them back the right way. I do not want people to get sick simply going to see a game. Right now, this is not in the hands of any politician. It is in the hands of researchers, and medical professionals to find the right vaccine so people can get back to some sense of normalcy. I respect Scoop and Jeff as much as any one I know. They are smart guys, and smart people have strong opinions. I just think, IMHO, that complaining, and even discussion about something we have no control over what so ever, well, it is wasted energy. I for one am focusing on the good things happening in my life. For one, none of my family, or friends have been affected so far. That to me is the best news there is. Those of you who live in high risk states or cities, have much more to worry about than I do. I spend a lot of time by myself anyway. That is a choice I made when I moved into this building. I miss being able to play my music publicly, but I also understand why I cannot. I have more than enough time on my hands to practice songs I have been wanting to do for quite a while. I have time to work on my model of the USS Indianapolis, a ship that I have been wanting to build for a long time…it has some really small parts, and is not easy without a magnifying glass to put them together. I have time to read, I love reading, not a big audio book guy. I want the real thing. I am reading a book now about a former Dodger player who went to Viet Nam, was wounded and his MLB shot lost forever. So, take time for family and yourselves. Do things that make you a better person. I have had a lot of people on here, and other sites call me grumpy Bear. And a lot of times they are absolutely right. Well, I am taking the time now to be a better person and friend. Something that means a lot more to me. Baseball, and the country will come back. We have to believe that. I sure do.


    1. Well spoken Bear and I completely understand your views on the subject.
      I would like to apologize for any of my non-baseball comments that bothered any of you. This is a baseball blog and in spite of any of my feelings on “that other subject” the majority of you have made it clear that you don’t want to discuss non-baseball subjects here. We’re basically a friendly, Dodger-oriented community at TBPC. Making political comments is just asking everyone to take sides, and that might ultimately destroy the community.
      I have suggested to Scoop that we take our other comments to a site we have both been recently introduced to and which deals with non-baseball topics.
      If any of you find that I have slipped in the future, feel free to call me on it.
      I’m not going to change my opinions but there is no reason you need to be subjected to them here.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Like I said Jeff, I respect you and Scoop immensely. I also know of the site you are speaking of. You did not offend me personally, I do not expect you or anyone else to have the same beliefs I do. Not even all of my family believes the way I do. Scoop is one of the best people I have met on here. His beliefs, as mine, are based on his life experiences. I will always respect that. And I understand the frustration felt by all.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Good man! I like baseball, I hate the politics, the two should not be combined in a baseball blog. Scoop , misery likes company, go find some miserable guys on another site if you can’t control your political comments.


  9. I think that Jackie Robinson is one of the players I would have loved to have seen in person. I have seen a lot of great players at the Coliseum and Dodger Stadium over the years, some are now hall of famers. But Jackie would be up there at the top of the list. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Pete Reiser before he was injured, Walter Johnson. I mean we see old films, but they cannot catch the feel of what it was like to be in the ball park when those guys played.


  10. Peter, I’m sure this pandemic is going to affect player salaries immensely, Mookie is going to be a free agent one year to late. Teams have been keeping salaries down for a while, they just started spending substantial money this past off season, I think they will tighten the purse strings again this off season, if he and his agent were thinking of getting close to trout money, I think they are going to come up quite a bit short.
    It’s a shame with no baseball, we’re stuck with speculating about next seasons free agents, in April, but it is an interesting topic to throw around.


    1. Keith, I saw someone suggest that Mookie might be willing to sign a one year pillow contract with L.A. to see how he likes playing here and to hope that things get back to more of a normal situation on contracts in winter 2021. Somehow I doubt he would do that because the risk of a career threatening injury would be too big a gamble, but you never know. What’s your take on that possibility?


  11. I think the rumor was that he turned down 300 mil+- from the Red Sox. I don’t know if he can get much more than that this off season, if Mlb doesn’t play meaningful games, so if he and his agent don’t want to settle for a contract in that neighborhood, a pillow contract would be his best bet. It means he would have to gamble on hisself, but if our doctors, and scientists can come up with a vaccine in the next, 12 to 18 months, like predicted, To take some of the uncertainty out of our world, I think he could easily get an extra 50 mil on a contract.

    This is where having AF could be a great benefit for the Dodgers, he is very inventive when it comes to contracts. This coming off season I could see a manny machado type contract 10/300, paying Mookie 35-40 mil in the first year with an opt out after one year so he could renegotiate after the 2021 season, then he can get his 35- 40 mil for eight or ten years, or if there is a lot of uncertainty still in the world, he doesn’t opt out, and he is still has the fifth biggest contract in baseball. AF offered Harper 45 mil for four years in 2019, I bet he’d give Mookie that kind of money for one year if Mookie wanted it.


  12. There is a video of Joe Kelly throwing in his backyard and missing the target net by a mile and breaking a window. It is hilarious to see. And the first caption I read said Kelly was in midseason form.


  13. MLB.com has a list of the best player for each team in the 90’s. Some are no brainers like Gwynn in SD, Griffey Jr. With the Mariners, and Ripken with the O’s. But there are a few surprises. Piazza was the choice for the Dodgers. Pretty easy choice. It might have gone to Karros because he was there longer, but I think they chose the right guy. Trivia question, when Mike Piazza hit his first career homer, what number was he wearing? Hint, it is not 31. Another interesting thing on that story, they have video clips of most of the players chosen, and the St Louis choice was Ray Langford. He was a swift outfielder and pretty much under the radar. Anyway the video clip shows him chasing down a long fly in right center field. In and of itself, not all that interesting except when you see the pitcher the ball is hit off of. Fernando.


  14. Baseball was different in the 90s a lot less power, well at least until the late 90s when the steroids starting showing their effects
    I remember Langford, good ball player, with numbers like his, he would be a forth outfielder now.


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