Jackie Robinson will always be remembered as the man who broke the color barrier in all of sports. He was the first African-American athlete who played baseball in the Major Leagues. Robinson also turned out to be an amazing baseball player.
However, did you know he played football in college?
In 1939, Robinson was on a four-sport scholarship including baseball, football, basketball and track. He earned a spot on the football team and ran back a 104-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, the longest in UCLA’s history at the Rose Bowl.
Now, he will be honored with a statue once more.
The Los Angeles Times stated the Tull Family Foundation will erect a statue for Robinson in front of the Rose Bowl this fall. Legacy Connections, the private nonprofit firm for the Rose Bowl, made the announcement on Monday, June 5.
Robinson already has a statue at Dodger Stadium commemorating his baseball legacy. And now, he’ll have one for his college career.
This is a great idea worth bringing to fruition! We’ve known about the trials and hardships he went through just to play baseball. What many don’t know is about his time in UCLA.
He’s earned top accolades in all four sports in UCLA. He was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984. Plus, he was one of four African-American players on that football roster.
This statue will show that Jackie Robinson was more than just a baseball player. He was an athlete.
Could you imagine what he could have done in multiple sports? We might have missed the greatest two-sport athlete the world could have ever seen.
Think about it. It would have been near impossible for Robinson to stay committed in all four sports, but he did manage to play for two past UCLA.
In 1941, Robinson planned to play for the Los Angeles Bulldogs in the Pacific Coast Professional Football League. However, it was around the same time the United States took part in World War II. Robinson briefly returned to play for the Bulldogs, but he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers shortly after.
The bottom line is that Jackie Robinson more than deserves to have two statues depicting his legacy. He worked so much during and after his athletic career. Jackie Robinson’s legacy is redefined with this honor, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
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