Branch Rickey

Brooklyn Dodgers' President & General Manager

 

"I cannot face my God much longer knowing that His black creatures are held separate and distinct from His white creatures in the game that has given me all that I own."

- Branch Rickey

 

  • Grew up in Ohio
  • Known as a fair, shrewd man who fought for things to be done his way
  • Believed in the "noble experiment" to have Robinson break the color barrier.
  • Told Jackie that he must be willing to ignore racial taunts and threats in order to further his race's cause in the game and in society
  • Early in his career, as a manager in college, he stood up for a black player against a racist team; this showed his sympathy for black players.
  • Rickey was also a smart businessman, and he knew Robinson would bring people back to the ballpark
  • "They'll taunt you and goad you. Theyıll do anything to make you react. Theyıll try to provoke a race riot in the ballpark. This is the way to prove to the public that a Negro should not be allowed in the major leagues."- Rickey to Robinson
  • "I want a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back. You will symbolize a crucial cause. On incident, just one incident, can set it back twenty years."- Rickey to Robinson
  • Rickey signed Robinson to a contract on October 23, 1945 and assigned him to the Montreal Royals, the Dodgersı AAA farm club.
  • "We made this step for two reasons. First, we are signing this boy because we think of him primarily as a ball player. Secondly, we think it is a point of fairness."- Rickey

 

 

Robinson signs a contract for the Dodgers with Rickey alongside, all under a picture of Abe Lincoln

 

Learn about Jackie's other baseball influences