Branch Rickey Biography Essay

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On Saturday, April 15 every major league player shall wear a special, retired number which nobody wears anymore. It is 42 in tribute to the late Jackie Robinson who became the first black player in the big leagues on the same date 70 years ago. Robinson is celebrated as the breaker of the color barrier, one of the best baseball players of his generation, fittingly a legendary figure, and a gentleman. He was an innovator, and the name Branch Rickey the devoutly Christian and highly successful executive who signed him to a contract and nurtured his early playing career is seemingly etched in history along with Robinson. What do we know about Rickey aside from Harrison Ford's masterful portrayal of him in the film "42" though? His efforts …show more content…

His life is almost like a sports version of "Forrest Gump" due to the incredible list of people and landmark events surrounding him, but unlike Gump, he was the force behind most of them. He was born Wesley Branch Rickey on December 20, 1881 in Portsmouth, Ohio and he became both a professional baseball and football player. He was a teammate and friend of first black man in professional football Charles Follis and a major in the United States Army where he commanded Ty Cobb and Christy Mathewson during World War …show more content…

Louis, Rickey signed and developed numerous hall of fame players and premier names of the day such as George Sisler, Pepper Martin, Dizzy Dean, Joe Medwick, Enos Slaughter, Marty Marion and Stan Musial. Following a championship run in '42, Rickey moved to Brooklyn to replace Larry MacPhail who enlisted as president and general manager. During his eight years with the Dodgers, the team won one NL Pennant and they began using new practice tools such as pitching machines, batting cages and batting helmets. With the addition of Jackie Robinson, Rickey's mission to integrate the big leagues was accomplished. He also signed black pitcher Don Newcombe. The late Red Barber who was the voice of Cardinal baseball said that Rickey's decision to integrate baseball, a plan which began in 1943 was born out of a combination of "idealism and astute business sense." The death of commissioner Landis, a know bigot in 1944 hastened desegregation as well. The Dodgers were the first team to hire a full time statistical analyst and pioneer what is know as sabermetrics in baseball which placed greater value in on base percentage over batting average alone. In 1950, Rickey reluctantly sold his interest in the Dodgers for $1,050,000 and accepted the GM position in

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