Originally posted on The Sports Post  |  Last updated 4/15/13

Today marks the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier of Major League Baseball in the 20th century. Technically, Moses Fleetwood Walker was the first black player in the major leagues – he played for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the American Association in 1884, his only major league season. In the decades succeeding, baseball’s powers had an unwritten yet firm rule banning black players until Branch Rickey, general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, signed Jackie Robinson. The movie 42 opened in theatres on Friday to showcase Robinson’s achievement. He played under duress that would have broken a lesser man.  But his fierce competitiveness combined with natural talent changed the minds, hearts, and maybe even the souls of those who taunted him. “Robinson could hit and bunt and steal and run. He had intimidating skills, and he burned with a dark fire,” states Roger Kahn in The Boys of Summer, the ur-chronicle of Brooklyn Dodgers history in the 1950s. “He wanted passionately to win. He charged at ball games. He calculated his rivals’ weaknesses and measured his own strengths and knew—as only a very few have ever known—the precise move to make at precisely the moment of maximum effect. His bunts, his steals, and his fake bunts and fake steals humiliated a legion of visiting players. He bore the burden of a pioneer and the weight made him more strong.” 42 depicts a scene lifted from real life involving Ben Chapman, manager of the Philadelphia Phillies. During a Phillies-Dodgers game in 1947, Chapman hurled taunts at Jackie Robinson that were more vicious than any fastball. Robinson suffered them. Again and again. Bench jockeying was one thing, but Chapman’s version was laced with venom the likes of which most people had never witnessed. Branch Rickey saw Chapman’s hatred as an asset. Rickey stated that Chapman united the Dodgers. Jackie Robinson thought differently, even though he acceded to having his picture taken with Chapman upon Rickey’s request. 42 reenacts the scene.   In his autobiography I Never Had It Made, Jackie Robinson elaborates his view of the Chapman incident. “Privately, at the time, I thought Mr. Rickey was carrying his ‘gratitude’ to Chapman a little too far when he asked me to appear in public with Chapman. The Phillies manager was genuinely in trouble as a result of all the publicity on the racial razzing. Mr. Rickey thought it would be gracious and generous if I posed for a picture shaking hands with Chapman. The idea was also promoted by the baseball commissioner.  I was somewhat sold—but not altogether—on the concept that a display of such harmony would be ‘good for the game.’  I have to admit, though, that having my picture taken with this man was one of the most difficult things I had to make myself do.” Vincit Qui Patitur is a Latin proverb translated to: He who endures will conquer. Jackie Robinson endured. Jackie Robinson conquered.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

White Sox fan wears a fantastic taped-up Chris Sale jersey

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery


Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Report: Dion Waiters agrees to one-year deal with Heat

Report: Junior Galette out for season with torn Achilles

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

Michael Vick: I used to feel I was 'dominating too much'

WATCH: Astros, Rangers minor leaguers get into brawl

A too early preview of UEFA World Cup 2018 qualifying

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker