HAMILTON – “After the game, Jackie Robinson came into our clubhouse and shook my hand ... I thought that was a classy gesture …. What meant even more was what Jackie told the press, ‘ Mantle beat us. He was the difference between the two teams.’ I have to admit, I became a Jackie Robinson fan on the spot. And when I think of that World Series, his gesture is what comes to mind. Here was a player who had without doubt suffered more abuse and more taunts and more hatred than any player in the history of the game. And he had made a special effort to compliment and encourage a young white kid from Oklahoma.” – Mickey Mantle
Jackie Robinson, one of the all time great ballplayers, stepped up the plate because he loved the game, and proceeded to help make our country a better place to live, on and off the ball field. In 1962, Robinson received the honor of being the first African-American to be elected to Cooperstown’s National Baseball Hall of Fame. Robinson stayed involved in baseball for his entire post-playing life and in 1984, Major League Baseball named its Rookie of the Year award after Robinson. That same year, Ronald Reagan awarded Robinson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest official honor for a civilian.