- NAME: Branch Rickey
- OCCUPATION: Civil Rights Activist, Business Leader
- BIRTH DATE: December 20, 1881
- DEATH DATE: December 09, 1965
- EDUCATION: Ohio Wesleyan University, University of Michigan Law School
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Stockdale, Ohio
- PLACE OF DEATH: Columbia, Missouri
- Full Name: Wesley Branch Rickey
- AKA: Branch Rickey
Best Known For
Branch Rickey was an innovative baseball executive known for his groundbreaking 1945 decision to bring Jackie Robinson into the major leagues, thereby breaking the color barrier.
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Rickey found the right player in October 1945: Jackie Robinson, an infielder. He signed Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers, later saying, "There was never a man in the game who could put mind and muscle together quicker than Jackie Robinson." After playing with the Dodgers' minor league organization, the Montreal Royals, Robinson made his debut in Major League Baseball in 1947,
thereby breaking the sport's color barrier. Robinson led the Dodgers to the National League pennant in his first season with the MLB team, and earned the Rookie of the Year Award in 1947.
Robinson's success led other owners to seek talented black players, and by 1952, there were 150 black players in organized baseball. The last of the Negro Leagues disbanded soon after, their marquee players all having been brought into the desegregated major leagues. Rickey was officially deemed the leader of the revolution, and his vocal support of civil rights extended beyond the baseball field for the rest of his life.
Rickey finished out his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, serving as was vice president, general manager and chairman of the board. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967.
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