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Opening Day by Jonathan Eig

Jackie Robinson is one of the most legendary figures in the history of sports. In 1947, Jack Roosevelt Robinson broke the color barrier becoming the first African-American in Major League Baseball. Years before Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr., number 42 for the Brooklyn Dodgers stepped onto the baseball diamond at Ebbets Field and forever changed America.

The road was definitely not easy for Jackie. On the field he was taunted, teased, and provoked all season long. Off the field he rarely could sleep in the same hotel or eat in the same restaurant as his teammates, typically he would be forced to the segregated parts of the community during road trips. Yet despite the challenges from inside and out, Jackie Robinson was a force to be reckoned with. He accepted the challenge to not only be a role model to African-Americans, but also an incredible ball player.

Easily the MVP of his team, Jackie led a mediocre Brooklyn Dodger ball club to the World Series. Unfortunately, Jackie’s historical first year ended with the much hated Yankees winning it all. Nevertheless, 1947 would go down in history as one of the most influential years in professional sports.

Jackie Robinson is a legend. He was given a seemingly impossible task and he succeeded unbelievably. Jackie Robinson was a humble man with a strong competitive spirit. His passion to win made him a great ball player, but his passion for equality and justice made him a great man.

Opening Day is not just about Jackie Robinson and his journey through his inaugural season, it is about America in 1947. Jackie’s presence changed the nation: professional sports, politics, business, black culture, white culture, newsprint, entertainment, etc. For the first time, all Americans were forced to examine their prejudices. If you are a student of baseball history or American history or the civil rights movement, this book gives the reader a wonderful, unbiased snapshot of the world during the 1947 baseball season.