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Jackie Robinson is one of the most revered people who have ever walked the earth. MLB retired his number as a league.
As an amateur, he excelled in four sports. In his 10 seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Robinson had a .900+ OPS in six years and won the 1949 National League MVP. Robinson also took his role as a civil rights pioneer very seriously.
Despite all that Robinson has accomplished, some of his peers didn’t think he should have been the player picked from the Negro Leagues to reintegrate MLB. One of those players was the man who did that in the American League, Larry Doby.
“One of the things that was disappointing and discouraging for a lot of black players back then was that Jack wasn’t the best player. The best was Josh Gibson. I think that’s one of the reasons Josh died so young – he was heartbroken,” Doby said in his bio.
In 1943, Gibson went into a coma and was found to have a brain tumor. He died of a stroke on January 20, 1947, three months before Robinson took the field for the Dodgers.
The stories told by Gibson’s power hits are the stuff of legends. According to The sports newsGibson struck once 580-foot home run at Yankee Stadium. Eat Your Heart from Aaron Judge.
Do a Google search for Josh Gibson and you could have enough reading material to fill an entire evening. One of baseball’s greatest hitters who, like many black players in the early 1900s, failed to show his talents on the game’s biggest stage.
Robinson hasn’t played in the Negro Leagues for a long time. His career with the Kansas City Monarchs began and ended in 1945. He was younger than many of the other Negro League stars but was still named an All-Star that season.
There’s no denying that Robinson was one of the greatest baseball players this country has ever produced. He belonged in MLB and in the National Baseball Hall of Fame whether he was Negro League 1st or 10th. Robinson was initially a pillar of talent and dignity, but he wasn’t the best black baseball player in 1945 either.
– Stephen Knox
https://deadspin.com/great-debates-best-arguments-all-time-1850224801 Ranking of the best topics of debate of all time