Today in labor history: Jackie Robinson inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

On this day in 1962 Jackie Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Robinson was the first African American to play major league baseball. A monumental civil rights struggle was undertaken on Robinson’s behalf, in which the left, the Communist Party, and then Daily Worker sports writer Lester Rodney, played a significant role.

Paul Robeson lent his reputation and voice to the campaign. Robinson had an outstanding career in baseball and won many awards including the Most Valuable Rookie (1947) and Most Valuable Player award (1949). Lester Rodney speaking at an Oakland People’s World banquet in 2006 called Robinson a “great American hero.”

“Jackie Robinson changed baseball, and when you’ve changed baseball in this country, you’ve changed this country!” Rodney said.


Special to
Special to is a daily news website of, for and by the 99% and the direct descendant of the Daily Worker. Published by Long View Publishing Co., People’s World reports on the movements for jobs, peace, equality, democracy, civil rights and liberties, labor, immigrant, LGBT and women’s rights, protection of the environment, and more.