On this day in 1945, Jackie Robinson signed his contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers, officially breaking the color barrier in the world of major league baseball.
Robinson started out playing baseball professionally in the Negro League, and was selected by the president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey, to integrate the major leagues. Although Robinson was not known to be the best player in the Negro League, it's been said that the president chose him more so for his temperment rather than his ability.
Robinson experienced backlash and threats from both the crowd and even some members on his team. Despite the extreme racism his faced, Rickey made him promise he would not fight back.
He went on to play his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers in Ebbetts Field on April 15, 1947 and won the title Rookie of the Year in 1947. In the years to come, Robinson was also named National League MVP in 1949 and became the World Series champ in 1955.
On April 12th 2013, a movie was released about his life.