Jackie Robinson Award,
for the late Major League Baseball Hall of Famer and former Brooklyn
Dodger, is awarded annually to the Perfect Game National Player of
the Year – the All-American considered the nation’s top high
school prospect. The award is presented to the player who exhibits
outstanding character, leadership, is involved in his community and
embodies the values of being a student-athlete.
Robinson came from humble beginnings as the son of a sharecropper in
Cairo, Georgia, to become the first black player to break Major
League Baseball’s color barrier that had segregated the sport for
more than 50 years. Jackie Robinson was not only a skilled baseball
player, he was an excellent all-around athlete. At UCLA, Robinson
became the first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports:
Baseball, football, basketball and track.
attending UCLA, Robinson briefly served in the U.S. Army, and after
receiving an honorable discharge, he played one season in Negro
Baseball League in 1945. Two years later in 1947, Robinson was
approached by the Brooklyn Dodgers about joining their franchise.
When he donned their uniform, he not only became the first black
player in Major League Baseball since the sport was segregated in
1889, he pioneered the integration in professional sports in America.
Through his integration, Robinson courageously challenged the racism
that existed in both the north and the south in America at that time.
At the end of Robinson’s rookie season with the Dodgers, he won the
National League batting title (.342) on his way to earning the
league's Rookie of the Year and MVP honors.
was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 and was inducted
into UCLA’s Hall of Fame in 1984.
April 15, 1997, exactly 50 years after he broke the color barrier in
Major League Baseball, the entire nation honored his legacy.
Robinson’s No. 42 jersey number was retired league-wide, the first
and only player to earn this honor. That same day, President Bill
Clinton paid tribute to Robinson at the New York Mets’ Shea Stadium
in a special ceremony. Robinson was also honored by the United States
Postal Service that year with a commemorative postage stamp.
Robinson’s life and legacy will continue to be remembered as one of
the most important in American history.
Jackie Robinson Award Finalists
record with a 2.32 ERA, 102 strikeouts in 59 innings
.471 with 25 home runs and 76 RBI; 1.12
ERA with 29 strikeouts in 19 innings
record with a 1.00 ERA, 78 strikeouts in 70.33 innings
.405 with 17 home runs, 61 RBI, a .461 on-base percentage at 12
.422 with 7 home runs and 24 RBI; 2.02
ERA with 79 strikeouts in 52 innings
.361 with 5 home runs and 20 RBI; 6-1
record with a 2.32 ERA
.537 with 13 home runs, 30 RBI, a .627 on-base percentage and 14
.345 with 9 home runs, 20 RBI, a .446 on-base percentage and 28 runs