Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson
Jackie Robinson swinging a bat in a Dodgers uniform
(January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was an American baseball
player who became the first black Major League Baseball
(MLB) player of the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line
when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers
As the first black man to play in the major leagues since the 1880s, he was instrumental in bringing an end to racial segregation in professional baseball, which had relegated black players to the Negro leagues for six decades. Signs of racial discrimination in professional sports continued to decline over the latter half of the twentieth century. The example of his character and unquestionable talent challenged the traditional basis of segregation, which then marked many other aspects of American life, and contributed significantly to the Civil Rights Movement.
In addition to his cultural impact, Robinson had an exceptional baseball career. Over ten seasons, he played in six World Series and contributed to the Dodgers' 1955 World Championship. He was selected for six consecutive All-Star Games from 1949 to 1954, was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949—the first black player so honored.
Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. In 1997, Major League Baseball "universally" retired his uniform number, 42, across all major league teams; the first pro athlete in any sport to be so honored. Since that time, Major League Baseball has adopted a new annual tradition, "Jackie Robinson Day," in which all players on all teams wear #42.
Robinson was also known for his pursuits outside the baseball diamond. He was the first black television analyst in Major League Baseball, and the first black vice-president of a major American corporation. In the 1960s, he helped establish the Freedom National Bank, an African-American-owned financial institution based in Harlem, New York. In recognition of his achievements on and off the field, Robinson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. (Full article...)
Welsh player Michael Owen takes a lineout
The Wales national rugby union team
in international rugby union
tournaments. They compete annually in the Six Nations Championship
. Wales have won the Six Nations and its predecessors 25 times outright, second only to England with 26 wins. Wales's most recent championship win came in 2012
. They also compete in the Rugby World Cup
every four years. The International Rugby Board
(IRB) regards Wales as a Tier One
The governing body, the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), was established in 1881, the same year that Wales played their first international against England. Wales' performances in the Home Nations Championship (now the Six Nations) continued to improve, experiencing their first 'golden age' between 1900 and 1911. They first played New Zealand, known as the All Blacks, in 1905, when they defeated them 3–0 in a famous match at Cardiff Arms Park. Welsh rugby struggled between the first and second World Wars, but experienced a second 'golden age' between 1969 and 1980 when they won eight Five Nations Championships (including 3 shared wins).
Wales played in the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987 where they achieved their best ever result of third. Following the professionalisation of rugby in 1995, Wales hosted the 1999 World Cup and won Grand Slams in 2005, 2008, and in 2012, their eleventh in total. Wales also came fourth in the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
Their home ground is the Millennium Stadium, completed in 1999 to replace the National Stadium at Cardiff Arms Park. Ten former Welsh players have been inducted into the International Rugby Hall of Fame, and three are inductees of the IRB Hall of Fame. (Full article...)