Jackie Robinson and the Handshake That Broke MLB’s Color Barrier

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Photo: AP Photo/John Lent

75 years ago, on April 18, 1946, Jackie Robinson joined the Montreal Royals in his very first regular-season game — and was also the first Black baseball player to join the formerly all-white minor leagues.

By Cori Zaragoza, Staff Writer

After hitting a home run in the third inning against the Jersey City Giants, teammate and Montreal outfielder George Shuba extended a congratulatory handshake, signaling to Robinson that he was accepted fully into the world of baseball as a Black player. Robinson would later recall how important this moment was with Shuba in his 1948 autobiography, Jackie Robinson: My Own Story, where he said, “When I crossed home plate, George Shuba was waiting for me. ‘That’s the way to hit that ball, Jackie,’ Shuba said. ‘That’s the old ballgame right there.’ He shook my hand.” A year later, Robinson would go on to be the first Black player to play in Major League Baseball when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in April 1947.

Sources:
Weinbaum, W. (2021, June 4). A handshake from a white teammate signaled Jackie Robinson’s arrival in America’s game. Andscape. Retrieved May 5, 2022, from https://andscape.com/features/a-handshake-from-a-white-teammate-signaled-jackie-robinsons-arrival-in-americas-game/

“Jackie Robinson.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 05 May 2022, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jackie_Robinson.

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