How much do you know about Jackie Robinson?
This Sunday, April 15, 2007, marks the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson taking the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers and the breaking of Major League Baseball's color barrier. It was a milestone, not only in the world of baseball, but for millions of people -- both black and white -- throughout the country. Today, his life and legacy continue to resonate in every part of our society.
But what of his accomplishments, his life before and after that first game at Ebbets Field in 1947?
Jackie Robinson's story transcends what he did between the white lines. It is the influence he had as a student and athlete in college, his strength and courage while taking enormous personal and political risks in the Army and his subsequent court-martial, his father-son-like relationship with Branch Rickey, the personal losses, failing health and his role as a civil rights leader. Robinson once said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” A life; not a baseball career.
So, how much do you think you really know about Jackie Robinson?
To find out, take the following multiple-choice test and see answers at the end of the quiz. If your interest is piqued, take a look at some of the books and DVDs listed below.
1. What team did Robinson play for in the Negro Leagues?
a. St. Louis Stars
b. Atlanta Black Crackers
c. Birmingham Black Barons
d. Kansas City Monarchs
2. What position did Jackie Robinson play in his first MLB game?
a. First base
b. Second base
d. Third base
3. What team did he refuse to report to when he was traded after the 1956 season, choosing to retire instead?
4. What year did Robinson win the NL MVP?
5. Who did Jackie Robinson vote for in the 1960 presidential election?
a. Richard Nixon
b. John F. Kennedy
c. Dwight Eisenhower
d. Adlai Stevenson
6. How old was Jackie Robinson when he died?
7. What was the last Major League Baseball team to integrate?
a. Chicago Cubs
b. Chicago White Sox
c. Boston Braves
d. Boston Red Sox
8. Why did the military court-martial Jackie Robinson in 1944?
a. For refusing to play running back for Fort Riley
b. For refusing to leave a “whites only” restaurant
c. For refusing to salute his white sergeant
d. For refusing to move to the back of a bus
9. What college did Jackie Robinson go to?
d. Morehead State
10. Who said, “After Jackie Robinson, the most important black in baseball history is Reggie Jackson.”
a. Spike Lee
b. Ken Burns
c. Vin Scully
d. Reggie Jackson
11. Of all his accomplishments, what didn’t Jackie Robinson do?
a. Become the first black inducted into the Hall of Fame
b. Become the first black hitting instructor in Major League Baseball
c. Become the first black player to steal home
d. Become the first black player to win a Rookie of the Year Award
12. How many pennants did the Brooklyn Dodgers win during Jackie’s ten-year career?
13. Who was the other black player on the 1947 DOdgers?
a. Joe Black
b. Roy Campanella
c. Henry Thompson
d. Dan Bankhead
14. What is Branch Rickey, the Dodgers GM who signed Robinson, not credited with developing?
a. Four umpires per game
b. Batting helmets
c. Minor League system
d. Batting cages
15. Where did the Brooklyn Dodgers hold spring training in 1947?
a. Vero Beach, FL
b. Havana, Cuba
c. Puerto Rico
d. Los Angeles, CA
16. In what year was Jackie's No. 42 retired across Major League Baseball?
17. What is the title of Jackie Robinson’s autobiography?
a. I Was Right On Time
b. It’s Good To Be Alive
c. Stealing Home
d. I Never Had It Made
18.Who played Jackie Robinson in the movie, “The Jackie Robinson Story?”
a. Paul Robeson
b. He played himself
c. Sidney Poitier
d. Denzel Washington
19. At Robinson’s last public appearance before Game 2 of the 1972 World Series, what did he express regret about?
a. The Dodgers moving to Los Angeles after the 1957 season
b. The death of his son
c. The Giants stealing signs during 1951's Dodgers-Giants playoff game
d. The absence of black managers in Major League Baseball
20. Where is Jackie Robinson buried?
a. Brooklyn, NY
b. Stamford, CT
c. Pasadena, CA
d. Cairo, GA
Books and DVDs:
The Boys of Summer (Paperback)
Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy (Paperback)
by Roger Kahn
by Jules Tygiel
I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson (Paperback)
by Jackie Robinson
Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season (Hardcover)
by Jonathan Eig
Branch Rickey: Baseball's Ferocious Gentleman (Hardcover)
by Lee Lowenfish
Jackie Robinson: A Biography (Paperback)
by Arnold Rampersad
Carrying Jackie's Torch: The Players Who Integrated Baseball-and America (Hardcover)
by Steve Jacobson
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson (Paperback)
by Bette Bao Lord (Author), Marc Simont (Illustrator)
Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete(Hardcover)
by William C. Rhoden
When It Was a Game - Triple Play Collection (DVD)
The Jackie Robinson Story (Colorized / Black and White) (1950)
Answers: 1d, 2a, 3b, 4c, 5a, 6b, 7d, 8d, 9b, 10d, 11b, 12c, 13d, 14a, 15b, 16c, 17d, 18b, 19d, 20a