Daytona Beach in Volusia County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
Breaks Major League Baseball Color Barrier
— Jackie Robinson Ballpark & Museum —
In 1945, Jackie Robinson was a Negro League standout in his rookie year with the Kansas City Monarchs, batting .387. While Jackie excelled in the field and base paths he was not considered the best compared to such renowned players as Satchel Paige and Josh Gibson. Summoned to the office of Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager, Branch Rickey, Robinson thought he was being scouted for a new Negro League team. In reality, Rickey wanted to see if Robinson had the courage and character necessary to break the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Branch Rickey was the product of a devout Methodist upbringing on an Ohio farm. He was known to be “religious, righteous and rhetorical.” Rickey knew Robinson had the talent. Rickey told him, "I want to beg two things of you, Jackie. Give it all you have as a ballplayer. As a man, give continuing loyalty to your race and to the critical cause you are going to symbolize. And above all, do not fight. No matter how vile the abuse, you must ignore it. You are carrying the reputation of a race on your shoulders. Bear it well, and the day will come when every team in baseball will open its doors
“Jackie, we’ve got no army. There’s virtually nobody on our side. No owners, no umpires, very few newspapermen. And I’m afraid that many fans will be hostile. We’ll be in a tough position. We can win only if we can convince the world that I’m doing this because you’re a great ballplayer, a fine gentleman.”
Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey, New York, 1945
(photo courtesy of Corbis)
Erected by Daytona Beach, Florida.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Civil Rights • Sports.
Location. 29° 12.578′ N, 81° 1.005′ W. Marker is in Daytona Beach, Florida, in Volusia County. Marker can be reached from East Orange Avenue, 0.1 miles South Beach Street, on the left when traveling east. Marker located in Jackie Robinson Ballpark and Museum. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 105 E Orange Ave, Daytona Beach FL 32114, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Jackie And Rachel Robinson Arrive In Daytona Beach (here, next to this marker); Sports Memories (here, next to this marker); Early Beginnings (here, next to this marker); First Spring Training (here, next to this marker); Rachel RobinsonJackie's First MLB Spring Training Game (here, next to this marker); Mary McLeod Bethune (here, next to this marker); Wendell Smith And Billy Rowe (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Daytona Beach.
More about this marker. This Daytona Beach Ballpark is named in honor of famed Major League Baseball player Jackie Robinson. In 1946, Daytona Beach was the only city along the spring season circuit to allow Robinson to play. This event helped Robinson to eventually break the color barrier in major league baseball. On October 22, 1998, this stadium was added to the United States National Register of Historic Places.
Credits. This page was last revised on July 22, 2018. It was originally submitted on July 25, 2017, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. This page has been viewed 248 times since then and 19 times this year. Last updated on September 18, 2017, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on July 25, 2017, by Brandon D Cross of Flagler Beach, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.