126 Interesting Facts About Jackie Robinson For Kids

Are you ready to learn about an amazing person who changed the game of baseball and made history? Let’s talk about Jackie Robinson, a true hero both on and off the baseball field. Jackie Robinson wasn’t just a baseball player; he was a trailblazer who broke barriers and showed the world the importance of courage and equality. So, grab your baseball glove, and let’s dive into some cool facts about Jackie Robinson!

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First up, did you know that Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play Major League Baseball in the modern era? That’s right! On April 15, 1947, he stepped onto the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and that day marked a huge moment in sports history. Imagine being the only one who looks like you in a whole league of players. It took a lot of bravery for Jackie Robinson to do that.

But Jackie wasn’t just known for being the first; he was also an incredible player. He could hit, run, and field, making him one of the best all-around players in the game. He won the Rookie of the Year award his first season, and later, he was even named the Most Valuable Player of the National League. Jackie showed everyone that he belonged in the big leagues with his amazing skills.

And here’s a really cool fact about Jackie Robinson: he wasn’t just a sports hero; he was a hero for civil rights too. He used his fame to help fight for equality and justice for all people, no matter their skin color. Jackie believed in standing up for what was right, even when it was hard.

Are you excited to learn more facts about Jackie Robinson? From breaking baseball’s color barrier to fighting for civil rights, Jackie’s story is one of courage, determination, and the power of sports to bring people together. Let’s keep learning about this incredible man and the impact he had on the world!

For more fun facts, check out our Facts About The Moon and our Facts About Penguins.

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Facts About Jackie Robinson

  • In 1942, Jackie Robinson was drafted into the Army.
  • From 1957 to 1964, Jackie Robinson served as the vice president of personnel for Chock Full O’ Nuts Coffee.
  • He also won Rookie of the Year in 1947 with a batting average of .297, 175 hits, 12 home runs, and 48 runs batted in.
  • When he was 28 years old, he made his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the major league. He played 151 games in total and scored 125 home runs in 175 hits.
  • In 1938, Jackie Robinson received the Most Valuable Player award for baseball in the regional junior college league.
  • People saw Robinson as someone who was not afraid to speak out about racism when he witnessed it, and who was prepared to stand up for what he thought was right. 
  • A statue of Robinson was unveiled at Dodger Stadium on April 15, 2017. The 800-pound, eight-foot structure depicts Robinson sliding into home plate.
  • Jackie Robinson was arrested again in 1944.
  • After being arrested, Robinson spoke to the arresting officer about unequal treatment and racism, much as he had done back in 1938. 
  • His older brother, Mack Robinson, won a silver medal in the 1936 Summer Olympics as a track and field athlete.
  • He played in the Montreal Royals’ minor league.
  • He quit baseball to take a job with Chock Full O’ Nuts.
  • The asteroid “4319 Jackierobinson” was discovered by astronomer Schelte J. Bus in 1981 at Siding Spring Observatory in New South Wales, Australia. He named it after his favorite baseball player.
  • He was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947
  • Robinson’s character, his use of nonviolence, and his unquestionable talent challenged the traditional basis of segregation.
  • He was also the first Black vice president of a major American corporation, Chock full o’Nuts
  • It’s worth noting that these figures reflect only Robinson’s baseball earnings and do not take into account his other sources of income, such as endorsements, speaking engagements, and other business ventures.
  • He was born on January 31, 1919
  • Only six (6) players have ever pinched-hit for Jackie Robinson.  
  • Jackie Robinson had an exceptional 10-year MLB career
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  • On this day every player on every team wears No. 42
  • Robinson was caught stealing home 12 times in his career.  Preacher Roe, Johnny Sain, and knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm were notables who caught the larcenist Robinson.
  • He also received the Congressional Gold Medal.
  • He broadcasted for ABC’s Major League Baseball Game of the Week telecasts in 1965. 
  • On August 29, 1948, in a 12-7 win against the St. Louis Cardinals, Robinson “hit for the cycle” with a home run, a triple, a double, and then a single in the same game.
  • Robinson joined US Army in 1942 and became second lieutenant a year later.
  • Robinson became a coach of army athletics until he received his honorable discharge in November, 1944.
  • Jackie Robinson Was Good at Baseball…Basketball, Football, and Track
  • He influenced the culture of and contributed significantly to the civil rights movement
  • Jackie Robinson also was the first black television analyst in MLB
  • Jackie Robinson Played in the Negro Baseball League before the Dodgers
  • He was the youngest of 5 siblings and was born on January 31,1919, in Cairo, Georgia.
  • Robinson’s salary continued to rise throughout the 1950s, and he earned a total of approximately $225,000 over his 10-year career in Major League Baseball.
  • Robinson made his final public appearance in 1972, when he threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2 of the World Series. He accepted a plaque commemorating the 25th anniversary of his major league debut.
  • Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1947–1956, appearing in 1,382 games and recording a .311 career batting average.
  • In 1945, Robinson signed to play professional baseball in the Negro Leagues with the Kansas City Monarchs. He fought against racial discrimination during his tenure with the Monarchs, including standing up to a gas station owner in Oklahoma who barred Robinson and his teammates from using the restroom.
  • Robinson was the football team’s leading rusher in 1940 and compiled a team-leading 827 yards of total offense that season.
  • By 1951, his salary had increased to $35,000, making him one of the highest-paid players in the league.
  • Robinson attended UCLA from 1939–41 and lettered in four sports for the Bruins: baseball, football, basketball, and track and field.
  • Jackie Robinson was raised in an affluent area, however, his family didn’t have a lot of money so this limited his opportunities. He joined a gang but luckily one of his friends managed to convince him to leave.
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  • Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in history. 
  • He was born in Cairo, Georgia in the United States of America.
  • In 1942, Jackie Robinson was drafted into the Army.
  • Jackie Robinson’s salary varied over the course of his baseball career. In his first year with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, he earned a salary of $5,000.
  • According to the San Francisco Chronicle, from 1947-56, Jackie Robinson is one of only two players with 125 steals and a slugging percentage over .425. 
  • Jackie Robinson graduated from OCS as a second lieutenant in 1943. 
  • Robinson won the NCAA broad jump title in 1940 and qualified to compete in the event at the 1940 Olympics in Tokyo. The games were canceled because of World War II.
  • Robinson was inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, his first year of eligibility. He became the first Black player to be enshrined.
  • Also in 1984, Robinson was posthumously inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame, becoming one of the hall’s charter members. He was inducted with such UCLA legends as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, John Wooden and Rafer Johnson.
  • On Nov. 22, 2014, UCLA Athletics announced the number 42 would be retired across all sports in honor of Robinson. Ally Courtnall (women’s soccer), Jelly Felix (softball) and Kenny Young (football) were the last Bruin student-athletes to don the iconic number.
  • Jackie Robinson’s brother raced with Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics
  • Robinson’s lifetime on base percentage of .410 is ranked 25th on the all-time list.
  • Jackie Robinson was named after Theodore Roosevelt
  • Jackie Robinson was born Jack Roosevelt Robinson, the youngest of five children in a lower-middle class family in Georgia in 1919.
  • He was stationed with boxing champion Joe Louis during World War II.
  • Robinson received an invitation to play baseball from the Kansas City Monarchs in 1945. 
  • Jackie Robinson was born in Georgia but raised in California.
  • His Brooklyn home was declared a landmark in 1976.
  • April 15 is now Jackie Robinson Day.
  • He was the first African American inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
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  • He worked with prominent civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and advocated for a more inclusive society.
  • Robinson’s highest park batting averages came at Forbes Field with a .342 average.  He also hit .326 at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, and .317 at Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia.
  • He was the first pro athlete in any sport to be so honored.
  • Jackie Robinson’s father left the family in 1920.
  • On May 10, 1950, Robinson became the first African American to grace the cover of Life magazine.
  • In 1934, at age 15, he won the Pasadena (Ca.) City Ping-Pong tournament.
  • He died in October 24, 1972
  • Robinson started several successful business ventures, including a construction company, a bank, and a restaurant chain.
  • Robinson was named to Major League Baseball’s All-Century Team in 1999.
  • Jackie Robinson attended junior college at the Pasadena Junior College. 
  • In high school, Jackie Robinson played on a baseball team with other future Hall of Famers Ted Williams and Bob Lemon.
  • In 1997, Jackie became the first athlete to appear on three different Wheaties boxes at the same time, regular Wheaties, Honey Frosted Wheaties and Crispy Wheaties ‘n Raisins.
  • Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color line when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base on April 15, 1947
  • The Time magazine awarded him as one of the 100 most influential people in 1999.
  • Jackie Robinson was friends with the heavyweight-boxing champion Joe Louis.
  • Robinson received racist comments and insults from White officers who wanted to keep the culture of racism.
  • The movie, “42”, which chronicles Robinson’s career as a professional baseball player, was released on April 13, 2013. The late Chadwick Boseman played the role of Robinson.
  • A year after her husband’s death, Rachel Robinson established the Jackie Robinson Foundation. The institution administers one of the nation’s premier scholarship and leadership development programs for minority college students.
  • Robinson participated in the March on Washington in 1963, at which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.
  • Robinson was the National League batting and stolen bases champion with a batting average of .342 and 37 stolen bases in 1949.
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  • He was also a six-time All-Star between the years 1949 and 1954.
  •  He was the first African American vice president of a major American corporation.
  • In 1964, Robinson helped found Freedom National Bank in Harlem, and later in Brooklyn. The bank was established out of protest against white financial institutions that discriminated against African Americans. Freedom National Bank soon became the most successful Black-operated financial institution in the country.
  • Robinson went on to become close friends with Larry Doby, who broke the American League color barrier after appearing for the Cleveland Indians in July 1947.  This milestone came just three months after Robinson broke the National League’s color barrier with the Dodgers.
  • Robinson served in the U.S. Army from 1942–44. During his service, he was arrested and court-martialed for refusing to sit in the back of a military bus. 
  • Though Robinson would become a Hall of Fame baseball player, he struggled as a Bruin. 
  • In his lone season on the team, he hit .097 in California Intercollegiate Baseball Association play, but he routinely earned a spot in the lineup for his expert base-running and strong fielding.
  • Jackie Robinson was awarded for his outstanding service to John Muir High School. He was one of the students named to the Muir High School’s Order of the Mast and Dagger.
  • Jackie Robinson received many awards during his career in baseball. Some of the awards he received include the National League Most Valuable Player in 1949, and the MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947.
  • Jackie Robinson played himself in The Jackie Robinson Story, a biopic about his life released in 1950. 
  • Jackie Robinson was a famous American baseball player who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1947 to 1956. He began his career with the Brooklyn Dodgers at first base.
  • Jackie Robinson attended John Muir High School, also known as Muir Tech, from 1935. His athletic talent was becoming clear and his older brothers encouraged him to pursue it. He enjoyed several types of sport including track, baseball, football, tennis and basketball.
  • UCLA’s baseball stadium was built in 1981 and named in his honor. A statue of Robinson is now prominent on the grounds of the facility.
  • Jackie Robinson Earned His First MVP Award in 1938
  • Jackie Robinson, like Rosa Parks, refused to move to the back of the bus.
  • Robinson played in six World Series, but won only one in 1955 against the New York Yankees in a seven-game series. 
  • Robinson was recognized for his talents in sports and his responsible approach to civic participation and academics. 
  • The Kansas City Monarchs offered him 400 dollars per month – more than 5,000 dollars today.
  • Pee Wee Reese was one of Jackie Robinson’s greatest champions.
  • He was only 53 years of age but he had suffered from diabetes and heart disease which eventually led to a heart attack. He was buried at Cypress Hills Cemetery in New York next to his mother-in-law and his son.
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  • In 1946, Robinson married Rachel Isum, a nursing student whom he met while at UCLA. The couple had three children: Jackie Jr., Sharon and David.
  • Robinson made his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York. on April 15, 1947, becoming the first Black player to play in modern Major League Baseball.
  • His last words, spoken to his wife, Rachel, were, “I love you.” Pallbearers at his funeral included basketball legend Bill Russell, his Dodger teammates Don Newcombe, Pee Wee Reese and Ralph Branca, as well as Doby.
  • Robinson didn’t play in 49 games that season and missed game 7; Don Hoak played third base in Robinson’s place.
  • Jackie Robinson Won the Long Jump at the NCAA Championships in 1940
  • Robinson continued to be a quarterback in football, shortstop in baseball, and also participated in basketball and track.
  • Robinson won a World Series with the Dodgers in 1955.
  • Robinson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on March 26, 1984.
  • Robinson won Major League Baseball’s Rookie of the Year award following the 1947 season, a year that saw him hit .297 from the plate and compile 175 hits and a league-leading 29 stolen bases. 
  • Jackie Robinson was very young when his parents separated. His mother, Mallie, relocated the family to 121 Pepper Street in Pasadena where she did a number of jobs to keep the family going.
  • In 1941, Robinson played semi-pro football with the Honolulu Bears. Notably, he played his last game with the team at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 5, just two days before the attack.
  • At 37, Robinson retired from major league baseball and the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956.
  •  He was television’s first African American sports analyst.
  • On August 30, 1953, after two days on the injury list (bad leg), Robinson was struck out twice by Cardinal pitchers Eddie Erautt and Willard Schmidt, in the third inning.
  • In 1982, Robinson became the first baseball player, Black or White, to have a U.S. postage stamp issued in his honor.
  • When the Dodgers signed Robinson, they heralded the end of racial segregation in professional baseball that had relegated Black players to the Negro leagues since the 1880s
  • MLB also adopted a new annual tradition, “Jackie Robinson Day”, for the first time on April 15, 2004.
  • On June 4, 1972, the Dodgers retired Jackie Robinson’s uniform number 42, as well as Sandy Koufax’s number 32 and Roy Campanella’s number 39.
  •  He married his college sweetheart, Rachel Isum.
  • Robinson never rejoined the 761st Battalion or participated in any combat missions during World War 2.
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  • The Jackie Robinson Museum is set to open in Spring, 2022. It totals 19,380 square feet in New York City and features 40,000 historical images and 4,500 artifacts.
  • In 1940, in his first baseball game for UCLA, Robinson went 4-for-4 at the plate and stole four bases.
  • Jackie Robinson had exceptional skill, he was an incredibly talented baseball player. He played in 6 World Series in over 10 seasons.
  • Here are some of Jackie Robinson’s statistics: Batting average .311, Hits: 1,518, Home runs: 137, Runs batted in: 734, Stolen bases: 197
  • Jackie Robinson passed away on October 24th, 1972 at his home in Connecticut. 
  • Robinson became the first Black television sports analyst, serving as a commentator for ABC’s baseball broadcasts during the 1965 season.

Do you have even more interesting facts about Jackie Robinson? Share them with us in the comments!

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