Publish Date: Sept. 22, 1947
Cover Story: Rookie of the Year
How TIME Covered the News: In the shadow of Jim Crow laws, which continued to permit segregation in the U.S., Jackie Robinson made history when he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers as the first black player in Major League Baseball.
“He has stolen 26 bases this season, more than any other National Leaguer. He dances and prances off base, keeping the enemy’s infield upset and off balance, and worrying the pitcher. The boys call it “showboat baseball.” He is not, in his first year, the greatest baserunner since Ty Cobb, but he is mighty good. Cobb made a practice of coming in with spikes aimed at anyone brave enough to get in his way. It wouldn’t have been politic for Jackie to do it that way very often. Robinson’s base running, which resembles more the trickiness of “Pepper” Martin, is a combination of surprise, timing and speed. Says Jackie: ‘Daring . . . that’s half my game.’”