It was on this date in 1947 that Jackie Robinson took the field for the first time in the Major Leagues. He received a steady stream of death threats, and racial slurs were hurled at him constantly. Some of his teammates refused to talk to him, and opponents jeered him from the opposing dugout. And yet, in an environment that no athlete before or since has ever had to endure or will ever have to endure, Robinson excelled. He was named Rookie of the Year, and two years later he was named Baseball’s Most Valuable Player. He destroyed the notion that blacks were inferior with his actions and behavior both on and off the field. He could have easily remained in the Negro Leagues and made good money and never had to bear such an enormous burden . But he was placed on earth for a higher purpose, and he more than fulfilled it. There are very few people who I truly consider my heroes. Jackie Robinson is one of them.
RELATED: A sportswriter on the field that day reminisces.