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


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.

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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