It's been 70 years since Jackie Robinson's first game in the Major Leagues. Seven decades since baseball's color barrier was broken. On this special anniversary, we wanted to go back to the actual matchup on that April 15, 1947, afternoon at Ebbets Field.
While he would go on to star as a second baseman, Robinson made his debut on Opening Day at first. He went hitless on the day, but his remarkable talent was already on display -- in the bottom of the seventh, Robinson laid down a sacrifice bunt, and his blazing speed forced a throwing error:
Robinson eventually came around to score, part of a three-run rally that would eventually prove to be the difference in a 5-3 Brooklyn win.
But, as Robinson explains in the interview at the top of this post, he almost never had the chance to make his Major League debut. After Branch Rickey announced that the second baseman would be on the Opening Day roster, longtime Dodger Dixie Walker began circulating a petition among his teammates to have Robinson removed from the team.
Pee Wee Reese -- who, legend has it, put his hand on Robinson's shoulder as a show of solidarity in Cincinnati later that year -- came to Robinson's defense, and manager Leo Durocher soon quashed the petition. It was just one of many obstacles Robinson would overcome in his Hall of Fame career.