Celebrating what would have been his 94th birthday, Google in honoring Jackie Robinson with his own Google Doodle. Robinson was the first African-American to play Major League Baseball. His debut game was April 15, 1947 when he opened the season playing first base for the then, Brooklyn Dodgers.
Today’s logo contains a portrait of Robinson swinging a bat in front of the the word Google in script-font, reminiscent of the classic script of the Dodgers’ logo.
During his time in Major League Baseball, Robinson faced tough challenges when most of the country was segregated. He not only persevered through scathing racist taunts and death threats, his play and his behavior was under bitter scrutiny for much of his career.
It was only the year prior to him joining MLB that the Supreme court ruled segregated interstate transportation unconstitutional. It would still be 17 years – 8 years after his retirement – before the Civil Rights act of 1964 passed, outlawing discrimination and segregation.
In his initial season with the Dodgers, Robinson played 151 games, racking up 175 hits, scoring 125 runs, and earning the first-ever rookie of the year award. Forty years later, the award was renamed in his honor.
Throughout his 10-year career, Robinson averaged a .311 batting average, peaking at .342 in the 1949 season. In 1949, he led the National League in double plays made by a second baseman with 133.
Google honors the man who broke the color barrier of Major League Baseball on the day before the start of Black History Month, and in the same month a Doodle recognized Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The official Twitter account of Major League Baseball also paid tribute to Robinson this morning with this tweet: