Jackie Robinson is one of the most famous and influential baseball players. Most know him as the first African American to play professionally in the modern era.
On April 15, 1947, Robinson broke the baseball color line as he started at first base for the then Brooklyn Dodgers. That moment marked the beginning of the end of racial segregation in the major leagues.
While Robinson's contributions to civil rights make him most famous, he was also a fantastic caliber. Robinson won the first-ever Rookie of the Year award and was a multiple-time All-Star.
Robinson also was a one-time National League MVP in 1949 and a one-time World Series Champion in 1955. As an all-around talent, Robinson finished his career with an astounding .311 batting average and managed to lead the league in stolen bases twice in his career.
Sadly, there is no understating the racial challenges Robinson faced in his playing career. Fans threatened him and his family. Even some of his own teammates were resistant to the idea of playing alongside Robinson.
But that hardship is just further proof of Robinson's fortitude as he persevered to become one of the best players ever and paved the way for countless more players of color. Off the field, Robinson was a family man and always remained outspoken on the topic of racial equality.
In 1962, Robinson became the first African American player to join the Hall of Fame. To this day, the MLB honors Robinson's legacy with "Jackie Robinson Day" when all players wear Robinson's #42 as they play.