Monday Marks 50th Anniversary Of Jackie Robinson’s Death

Tom Emery

Monday, Oct. 24 marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Jackie Robinson, who broke Major League Baseball’s shade obstacle in 1947. Before his years of excellence with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Robinson was a college sporting activities star as well as in one significant minute, his UCLA basketball team played at Illinois State.

On Dec. 21, 1940, Robinson’s Bruins team shed to Illinois State 37-21 in Normal at McCormick Fitness center, the former house of the Redbirds. 8 years later on, hoops chroniclers still review the night that the excellent Jackie Robinson concerned the Illinois heartland.

Though he is best recognized for his baseball career that transformed American culture, Robinson was a four-sport letterwinner at UCLA, the only athlete because college’s background to hold that difference. Along with basketball and baseball, he likewise joined football and track.

Robinson excelled in most of his sports at UCLA. In football, he led the country in punt return standard in both 1939 and 1940, and balanced 12.2 backyards per rushing effort in 1939, when the Bruins finished # 7 in the AP poll. He was the NCAA champ in the long jump in 1940.

Strangely, he played just one year of baseball at UCLA and also battled, striking just.097 in 1940. Nonetheless, Robinson took house 19 times, a sign of both his extraordinary talent as well as on-field aggression.

On the hardwood, the 5 ’11 Robinson balanced 12.4 points per video game in 1939-40 and 11.1 in 1940-41. Regardless of Robinson’s payments, the Bruins had a hard time, going 8-17 and also 6-20 in those two years, specifically. However the tale of Jackie Robinson was just starting, and when he brought his UCLA squad to Normal that evening, there was lots of buzz.

The Illinois State– UCLA competition included 2 of the leading black athletes in the country in Robinson and also the Redbirds’ John Scott. Though he was much less well-known, Scott had a lot of sports credentials of his very own.

Scott was an item of the hoops hotbed of Centralia and also head trainer Arthur Trout, that led the Orphans to 811 victories in a fabled 37-year profession. At Illinois State, he was a three-sport standout and also gathered fourteen championships in his 3 years as a Redbird.

The basketball program reeled off a 35-7 record in conference play with Scott, a four-time all-conference choice. The Redbirds’ basketball captain in 1940-41, Scott was also a two-time captain of the Illinois State cross country group. Furthermore, he was a top member of the institution’s track group.

Though Robinson had much more popularity, the night belonged to Scott, who scored a game-high 21 points. That was as lots of as the whole UCLA group handled in a 37-21 Illinois State win. Robinson was held to simply 2 baskets, for four factors.

Seven years later on, Robinson played his first ready the Dodgers and also, in 1949, became the very first black gamer to win a Most Prized possession Gamer award. A six-time All-Star, Robinson won the National Organization batting title in 1949, and also led the league in steals two times. He was sworn in into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

After years of fighting cardiovascular disease and also diabetes, Robinson passed away of a cardiac arrest at his Connecticut house at age 53 on Oct. 24, 1972. Today, Robinson is kept in mind as an icon of American sporting activities, overcoming widespread bigotry that is just now becoming completely recognized.

After ISU, Scott went on to play for the Harlem Globetrotters for 2 seasons. In 1972– the year that Robinson passed away– he was sworn in right into the Illinois State Sports Hall of Fame. Scott, that went after a profession in the clinical field, is also a participant of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Organization Hall of Popularity, another honor in a remarkable life.

Thirty years after Robinson’s evening in Regular, the Illinois State males’s basketball program also made history with the hiring of Will Robinson (no connection), the first African-American head coach in NCAA Department I background, in 1970.

The appearance of Jackie Robinson at Illinois State, as well as his declared competition with John Scott, continues to be a critical moment in hoops background in the state of Illinois.


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