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Robinson performed in semipro ball, then embarked on his specialist baseball job with the Valdosta, Ga., team of the Ga-Florida League in 1939. Following quite a few seasons in the minors, he built his key league debut in a transient stint with the 1942 Indians. He entered the Navy in World War II and was assigned to play for its baseball teams.
Robinson performed in the Indians’ 1948 infield with Joe Gordon at next foundation and Lou Boudreau, their manager, at shortstop. Larry Doby, who had become the American League’s very first Black participant in 1947, was the middle fielder and Bob Feller, Bob Lemon and Gene Bearden, who bested the Red Sox in a one particular-game playoff for the A.L. pennant, had been the aces of their pitching workers. All of people teammates apart from for Bearden are in the Corridor of Fame.
The Indians drew enormous crowds to their cavernous Cleveland Municipal Stadium that year, and additional than 80,000 fans turned out for two of their a few Planet Sequence games there.
“I’m from Paris, Texas, population 20,000,” Robinson informed The Simple-Supplier of Cleveland 50 several years later. “I bear in mind pondering, ‘Man, we have got 4 occasions as many people today viewing me engage in baseball.’”
Robinson played a purpose in a poignant baseball party in the summer months of 1948.
When Babe Ruth, dying of most cancers, was about to choose the discipline at Yankee Stadium on the afternoon of June 13 for a ceremony retiring his No. 3, Robinson was in Cleveland’s dugout.
“He looked like he essential assist bodily, and I took a bat out of the bat rack and gave it to him,” Robinson informed Main League Baseball in a 2020 interview. “He carried it up to house plate, and he used it as a type of a crutch. When he arrived back, I got the bat and experienced him indication it.”