The Jackie Robinson Story (1950) Movie Script

(man) This is the story
of a boy and his dream...
but more than that...
it is the story
of an American boy...
and a dream
that is truly American.
The year... 1928.
The time... spring.
If you were a young man,
your thoughts were undoubtedly
turning to those of love.
But if you were a young boy,
your thoughts
were of one thing...
Give me some high ones!
Come on!
Here... right over here!
Give me a fast one!
Give me one... come on!
Come on... I'll show you how!
Give me a good high one!
Great bunch
of infielders we got.
Yeah, big leaguers.
Hit me one, mister?
What do you want?
Grounders, flies, anything.
Watch this.
Right here... come on!
How's that for a ballplayer?
Yeah, we ought to give
him another chance.
Hey, kid, you want another?
(kid) Yes, sir.
Here it comes!
Hey, kid, come here a minute.
Now, don't tell me
that one didn't sting.
Just a little bit.
Haven't you got a glove?
No, sir.
Come here a minute.
You mean I can borrow this?
No... you can have it.
For keeps?
For keeps!
(kid) Mom! Mom!
Yes, Jackie?
Look, Mom!
Where'd you get it?
A man gave it to me.
You can sew it up.
Oh, Jackie!
Yes, Mom?
Sew 'em on like that?
No, Mom.
The way you have them now reads.
"Junior Pasadena College."
That way, Mom.
Pasadena Junior College.
Of course.
How'd I get it
mixed up like that?
My, my...
They wouldn't know
who I'd be jumping for
at the track meet.
That what your brother
Mack won a medal for?
That what you're talkin' about?
Won a medal?
When Mack jumped
for Pasadena Junior College
he broke the National
Junior College record
and nobody has jumped
that far since.
That's nice!
This kid jumped
25 feet, 6 1/2 inches, Bill.
Broke his brother's record.
Do you think maybe he could, ah,
jump over that
Southern Cal line?
He led the conference in TDs.
Only, there's one problem, Bill.
You mean the Trojans
have already got him?
Heh... no, no.
He's a colored boy.
I heard somebody
squawking about giving
colored boys too many
athletic scholarships.
Colored boys
are all right with me,
if they're the right color.
The right color?
I like a good, clean,
American boy with a B average.
If that's the kind
of a boy you're talking about-
his colors are blue and gold.
UCLA colors, huh?
That's right,
and you can tell it
to Robinson for me.
Come on, Jackie, come on.
Come on, boy.
Come on, Jackie.
Come on!
You're his brother, aren't you?
That's right.
You're Mack Robinson.
I ran against you
when you were at Oregon.
Oh, sure, you ran
for Southern Cal.
Pete Schubeck... this is my wife.
Hello, Mack.
How do you do?
This is Rae Isum, Jackie's girl.
- Hello.
- Glad to know you.
What are you doing these days?
Oh, I got a good, steady job.
Glad to hear it.
Come on, Jackie.
Easing up?
Yeah, a lot.
What's the matter
with those guys,
giving it to Jack like that
just because he's...
Because he's the best halfback
on the field.
Oh, yeah... yeah, sure.
And Jackie,
I wasn't kidding
about that either.
They have a lot of respect
for you out there.
I have a lot of respect
for them too.
Believe me.
How's Mack been doing lately?
I always liked Mack.
Oh, Mack's doin' fine.
Been waitin' long?
No, just got here.
Somebody told me you got
an honorable mention
on the All-American.
Did I?
Somebody else told me
you cut class this morning.
Could be.
Was it because you
worked late last night?
And I went to see
about a better job...
A full-time job.
Why now?
You've still got some time
before you graduate.
If I graduate.
Suppose I finish out the year.
I'm no further along
than when I started...
No closer to getting
a half-decent job
so I can afford to get married.
Who are you thinking
of marrying, Mr. Robinson?
Oh, you know who.
Your mother'll take it hard
if you quit school now.
Yes, I know.
You ought to talk to her
before you do anything...
And to Mack.
it was Mack I was thinking of.
Well, if you'd
just wait till June
and get your diploma...
A lot of good
a college education did Mack.
Well, Mack's all right.
He's got a job.
a good, steady job.
Hey, Mack!
What are you doing here
this time of night?
I fixed you some lunch.
Here, catch!
Man, that's really smart
signal callin'.
I thought you'd be hungry.
I'm always hungry.
Sit awhile?
Anything botherin' you?
I wanna quit college.
Right after the
basketball season.
What for?
I gotta get a job.
I wanna marry Rae.
School's one thing, but...
You and Mom
can't support Rae too.
Can't it wait till you graduate?
What good will a degree do me?
They're not hiring
colored football coaches.
Not our color anyway.
Don't you want
to play baseball this season?
What good will that do me?
Baseball's one sport
they'll never let me in.
Yeah, it's your best sport too.
I wonder if there's any place
where they will let you in.
Here's one place
nobody draws the color line.
Yeah... great job
for a college man.
May not be a great job,
but it's steady.
Nice going that half, Jackie.
Thanks a lot.
What's this I hear
about you quitting?
Yeah, right after
the basketball season.
We'll miss you, fella.
You got a job lined up?
No, not yet.
What about those letters
to high schools?
Any answers?
What'd they say?
The first school
didn't want me for a coach.
The second school
didn't want me for a coach.
And, heh, the third school...
They just didn't want me.
Any mail for me?
Five more letters.
Business must be good.
Let's open 'em.
Pickwick College
doesn't want any coaches.
Bainbridge either.
See what's in this one.
Horton U. Says sorry.
Western State... no soap.
you've got a job, brother.
I have?
What does it say?
Listen to this...
"From the President
of the United States.
(woman) He sure writes
interesting letters.
(Rae) Oh, yes!
Listen to this, Mildred.
"The other day
my commanding officer
"called me in
and told me the good news.
"So I'm some kind
of athletic director at last,
even if it's for the army."
Sounds like he's happy.
And he looks good too.
In his new picture.
And a lieutenant now.
That's a mighty fine job.
Why can't this wait
till later on?
Dinner's almost ready.
It'll only take a minute, Mom.
That's just like you.
First thing
on top is your glove.
What're you going to do with it?
Don't know if I'll ever
do anything with it again.
Ah, more mail again.
I bet you spent
50 bucks on stamps.
If it gets me a job,
it'll be worth it.
Idaho Poly
doesn't want any coaches.
I could have guessed that.
Hey, wait a minute.
What is it?
A job!
Not the President
greeting me again?
No, but you read it.
Robinson, you're up next.
Pick out the one you like
and give it a ride.
Yes, sir!
Now batting
for the Black Panthers,
Jackie Robinson, shortstop.
All right, just a minute, boy.
This is a new boy, Sampson.
Take it real easy with him.
Nice and easy.
Let him hit it.
Yeah, I'll do that little thing.
Okay, boy...
I fixed it right up for you.
Easy, man... throw it easy.
(umpire) Strike!
Let me help you up,
Mr. Robinson.
My goodness,
I don't know what's wrong
with that pitcher today.
You hadn't ought
to do that, Sampson.
You'll make this boy mad.
Nice and easy, I said!
Ball one!
What's wrong with that boy?
He's incorrigible,
that's what he is...
Right here now, man!
Strike two!
Man alive,
you sure swing pretty!
- Hold it!
- Whack!
(umpire) Safe!
You shouldn't
a done that, new boy.
I thought we gonna be friends.
(catcher) Oh, why didn't
you throw the ball right?
Hey, that's enough of that.
How about "Shortnin' Bread"?
Never mind about
"Shortnin' Bread."
How about some ham and eggs?
That's a pretty good idea.
How about something to eat?
Okay, okay, we'll stop
at the next drive-in.
Is it always like this?
Sleeping on the bus?
Most of the time.
We sleep and we eat
and we play ball.
Then we get on a bus
and do it all over again.
You got a cigarette?
I don't smoke.
That Ernie...
Always beggin' cigarettes.
I can't afford to buy 'em!
Why not?
Don't you get paid
like the rest of us?
Yeah, I get paid a little.
Got a wife in Birmingham.
I have to send her every buck.
Got a new baby comin'
in a couple of weeks.
Sure wish I could be there.
Why don't you take a week off?
Can't... haven't got the money.
After what I send home,
I just make it to payday.
You're breakin' my heart.
Thanks, boy!
Get back! Get back!
Who's going in?
New boy's turn.
Rules and regulations.
New boy always goes first.
I guess that means you, Jackie.
What will I have to do?
Three things.
See if we can eat inside.
Two, see if we can wash up.
Three, if we can't eat inside,
see if they'll
fix up sandwiches.
Yeah, what is it?
Sixteen of us outside in a bus.
How's chances of getting
something to eat?
Well, uh, I'm all alone here.
Afraid I couldn't help ya.
How about some sandwiches?
Could we have sandwiches?
Well, I, uh...
How many of them did you say?
(Jackie) Sixteen.
Well, I could make you
16 beef sandwiches,
and maybe the same
in ham and egg.
That'd do you?
How about some fried potatoes
on the side, Chef?
Take about 20 minutes.
Do you suppose we
could wash up a bit?
Sorry, it's out of order.
Say, Ernie.
When are they gonna
give me a contract?
You want to know
about contracts?
Say, fellas!
This man wants to know
about contracts.
Fix you right up
with the information.
Yes, sir, contracts.
Tell him about that, boy.
You want a contract
with the Panthers?
The first thing
you've got to do...
is borrow some money
from the boss.
Then you got a job
until he gets paid back.
If you can get him
to lend the geetus.
Keep your eye on the grandstand.
Got a good day
and a good crowd...
That's the time to hit 'im up.
Owe him a week's salary...
You got a one-week contract.
Owe him for two...
You got a two-week contract.
The oss-bay.
Get out of here
and get a little work.
Come on!
Strike two!
(umpire) You're out!
Well, that's the ball game.
That Robinson sure had
a good day, didn't he?
Sure did!
(man) Robinson!
Robinson, can I see you?
I'm Clyde Sukeforth...
of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
I'd like to talk for a minute.
What about?
About you.
Branch Rickey
would like to see you.
He would?
Do you think you could
get away for a day?
I guess so.
Good... I'll take care
of the tickets.
Now you meet me
at the Union Station
at 7 o'clock.
The New York gate.
Is that okay?
Sure... that's great.
(Ernie) Hey, who's your friend?
Scout for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Signed me for the
New York Yankees.
Were gonna give me a bonus
to pitch for the Red Sox.
And then his keeper came.
Some guys think they're funny.
Yeah, you can say that again.
(Clyde) Robinson!
Clyde Sukeforth.
Robinson, is that you in there?
I don't understand
this, Robinson!
Don't you have a good mind?
Or are you playing coy?
I waited for you till
I missed the train.
What's the idea?
You don't mean you're really
with the Dodgers?
You got a girl, Jackie?
Well, uh, I don't know.
What do you mean,
you don't know?
Traveling around all the time,
and not writing
as often as I should...
I think I still have a girl.
Good, you'll need one.
Do you know why
we brought you here?
No, sir... not exactly.
I heard you were starting
a colored ball team.
Is that it?
No, you were
brought here to play
with the Brooklyn organization.
Montreal, to start with.
Play for Montreal?
I want to win pennants
and we need ballplayers.
The war set us back a little.
So, three years ago,
the Brooklyn Dodger management
decided to scout
untapped sources of supply...
Mexico, Cuba, all the
Latin American countries,
and our own country too.
That right, Clyde?
From coast to coast.
Yes... for players
who can help us win.
Many of the men
we saw were good.
Some had great promise...
Like you.
Do you think
you can do it, Jackie?
Make good in organized baseball?
If I got the chance.
There's more here
than just playing.
I wish it just meant runs
and hits and errors...
The things you can see
in a box score.
Heh... a box score.
You know, a box score is
really democratic, Jackie.
It doesn't say how big you are
or how your father
voted in the last election,
or what church you attend.
It just tells you
what kind of a ballplayer
you were that day.
Well, isn't that what counts?
It's all that ought to count.
And maybe someday
it's all that will count.
That's why we brought you here.
I want to see if we can make
a start in that direction.
It'll take a lot of courage.
Yeah... it sure will.
It might take more courage
for the organization
than for you, Jackie.
Have you thought of that?
I haven't thought of anything.
It's all so sudden...
Kind of hits me
straight between the eyes.
Just relax, boy.
There's plenty of time.
Pull up a chair...
Make yourself comfortable.
We're tackling
something big here, Jackie.
If we fail, no one
will try again for 20 years.
But if we succeed...
If we succeed, Brooklyn
will win a pennant.
Yes, that too.
But we're dealing
with rights here...
The right of any American
to play baseball...
The American game.
Do you think
he's our boy, Clyde?
Well, he can run, he can hit,
and he can field.
But can he take it?
That, I don't know.
What do you think, Jackie?
Well, I can try.
Think you've got guts enough
to play the game no matter
what happens?
They'll shout insults at you.
They'll come
into you spikes first.
They'll throw at your head.
They've been throwin' at my head
for a long time, Mr. Rickey.
Suppose I'm a player
in the heat of a game.
I collide with you
at second base.
And when I get up, I say,
"You dirty black so-and-so!"
What do you do?
Mr. Rickey, do you
want a ballplayer
who's afraid to fight back?
I want a ballplayer
with guts enough
not to fight back.
You've got to do
this job with base hits,
stolen bases, and fielding
ground balls, Jackie.
Nothing else.
I'm playin' against you
and I'm hotheaded.
I want to win this game.
I go into you spikes first.
You jab the ball in my ribs.
The umpire says, "Out."
All I see is your face...
That black face over me.
So I haul off and punch you
right in the cheek.
What do you do?
Mr. Rickey, I've got two cheeks.
You under contract
to the Black Panthers?
No, sir, we don't
have contracts.
Do you have any agreement
about how long you'll play?
No, sir, none at all.
All right.
Clyde will give you
a contract before you leave.
Don't sign it right away.
This is a very important move.
Think it over carefully.
Is your, ah, mother living?
Yes, sir, she's in California.
Call her up... ask her advice.
We'll pay the phone bill.
Yes, sir.
And, Jackie...
remember one thing.
No matter what happens
on the ball field,
you can't fight back.
That's going
to be the hard part...
You can't fight back.
Helen, get
Jackie Robinson's home
in Pasadena, California.
It's Sycamore 7-6-4-5-9.
From New York?
Yes, put him on, please.
It... it's Jackie, Mom.
Calling from New York.
Why is he calling?
Is somethin' wrong with him?
Just a minute, Mom.
How are you, kid?
Are you okay?
He's okay, Mom.
You want to talk to Mom?
Sure, she's right here.
He wants to talk to you, Mom.
Hello, Jackie.
You all right?
You've got a chance for what?
I can be the
first Negro to ever play
in organized baseball, Mom.
If I'm good enough...
If I can make the grade.
Only, I'll be taking
a big chance.
Mack, they want Jackie
to play baseball for...
For Brooklyn.
They do?
Well, Jackie, I don't know
what kind of advice to give you.
only there must be churches
in a big town like New York.
Why don't you
go find yourself a church
and talk to the minister
and see what he has to say.
And Jackie, any time
you have a real problem,
listen to God about it.
Here, talk to your brother Mack.
He knows more about
baseball than I do.
Come in.
Are you Reverend Carter?
That's right, son.
My name's Robinson...
Jackie Robinson.
Glad to know you, Mr. Robinson.
I need some advice...
Important advice.
Well, suppose we sit down
and talk this thing over.
You're new to this part
of the city, Mr. Robinson?
I'm from California.
I came to New York yesterday
to see Branch Rickey.
Do you mean, uh...
Mr. Rickey, the baseball man?
I'm a ballplayer, Reverend.
I've just learned
that the Brooklyn Dodgers
have been scouting Negro players
for a couple of years,
and Mr. Rickey thinks
I'm good enough to...
Reverend, it means
that a colored man
will be able to play
on the same field
with a white man
for the first time.
Uh, who goes out
to these ball parks, Jackie?
Just white men?
No, anybody can buy
a ticket, Reverend.
Colored or white.
Ah, tell me, Jackie.
What do you think
would actually happen
if you were to get out
on a white baseball field?
I don't know.
They might call me names.
They might even beat me up.
I don't mean what would happen
to you, Jackie.
I mean, what would happen
to the colored people?
Might start fights.
Might even start a riot.
That's true.
On the other hand,
every step forward
for our people
has started a fight somewhere...
For the time being, anyhow.
This is a big thing
you have to decide, Jackie,
and not just for you alone.
It's a big thing
for the whole colored people.
I know.
That's why I came
to you for help.
A great deal depends
upon you, Jackie.
What kind of a man you are.
I suppose upon...
what kind of a ballplayer
you are too.
I don't know what kind
of a man I am, Reverend,
but, ah, I think I'm
a pretty good ballplayer.
That might help...
yes, it might help a great deal.
It's wonderful to see you,
especially when I'd...
I'd almost given you up.
I should have written
oftener but...
you know how it is?
You keep waiting for good news...
Something worth writing about.
And then when this
big chance came,
I didn't want to tell you.
I wanted to be sure
I had the contract signed.
You know, sometimes
when you wait
for real good news,
you wait forever.
I guess so.
I don't want to wait forever.
Look, let's sit a minute.
Let's talk it over.
All right.
It's gonna be real tough.
A lot of people don't want
a Negro in baseball.
I know.
As soon as I make it stick,
I'll come for you.
We'll get married.
not after you've
made good, Jackie.
Now... before you start.
I can't let you do that.
I've got to go south
for spring training.
I'll have to face that.
It might not be easy.
It'll be easier
if we face it together.
It won't be any picnic.
You marry me now,
and you're askin' for trouble.
All right, Jackie.
I'll ask for it.
(man) Daytona Beach, next stop.
Are you Jackie Robinson?
Yes, I am and this is my wife.
Glad to know you.
My name's Gaines.
I'm an attorney here.
Mr. Rickey asked me if I
could help arrange
accommodations for you.
He did?
Sent a man down
to look up a place
for you to stay.
I won.
That's very nice
of you, Mr. Gaines.
We're proud to have you.
Your bags will be
in the checkroom.
My car's right out front.
Hey, Robinson.
Ask you a few questions?
You think there's goin'
to be trouble?
He means trouble with
the other players.
The only trouble
I'm worried about's
ground balls to my right.
Think you're good enough
to make the Dodgers?
Don't know if I can
make Montreal.
Better concentrate
on that first.
What are you gonna do
if a pitcher throws
at your head?
Same as you'd do... duck!
What're you
sportswriters doin' up
at this hour of the mornin'?
Walkin' in your sleep?
Thought we'd take a look
at your new ballplayer, Clay.
Look at him playin' ball...
Not flappin' his mouth
with you guys.
Get out there and throw a few,
loosen up your arm.
Yes, Mr. Hopper.
Do you think
baseball will accept
a colored second baseman?
First, let's see if I will.
thud, thud... thud.
Let's have one!
Want me to take the first one?
Or shall I hit away?
Use your own judgment, Shorty.
How's that high elbow comin'?
Keep you from hittin'
under the ball?
Don't work out like it should, Mr.
Of course, I don't pop
to the infield anymore.
I just fly into center field.
Shorty's got a problem.
He's built too close
to the ground.
But I've got a new idea.
When I take the bat back,
I'm gonna hold it up.
I ought to come through higher.
(umpire) Batter up.
That's me.
I ought to hit
right on the line.
You watch.
(umpire) You're out of there!
All right, Tex, hurry it up!
All right, Eddie.
Get 'em out of there, Ed!
All right, gang!
(catcher) Attaboy, Ed, come on!
(umpire) Out!
Let's get this guy out of here!
Come on!
(umpire ) Ball!
All right, Eddie!
Bring it on, Ed!
Come on now.
(catcher) All right, Eddie.
(umpire) He's out!
Now if he can hit like that too.
(umpire) Ball!
Bring the ball in here.
That's the one... that's the one!
(umpire) Ball... two!
Did you get that?
I got it.
All right, Hank!
This guy's got
a hole in his bat.
Let's get him out of here.
Strike... one!
(catcher) Come on, Jackie!
He's out!
No other human being
could've made that play!
Mr. Rickey,
do you really think
he is a human bein'?
Think Jackie's gonna like these.
Knitting, knitting.
Seems like that's all
you ever do, Mrs. Robinson.
Why don't you walk downtown
once in a while?
Or maybe take a
ride to the beach?
I'm afraid to.
No one's going to hurt you here.
I'm not so sure.
The last time I took a bus
I heard some
white men talking...
about Jackie.
About what they'd do
if a colored man
tried to play
on this city's team.
Oh, you know... they talk big,
but they don't usually mean it.
Maybe they don't usually...
but sometimes they do.
Some of the things they said
gave me cold chills.
Somebody get a key.
(player) Can't we get in?
Oh, Mr. Rickey, look at this.
Back in the bus, boys.
Back in the bus.
Come on, Jackie.
We don't want trouble.
I'm the cause
of the trouble, Mr. Rickey.
Maybe you'd like to call it off.
Maybe you'd rather
I went back to the Panthers.
Not on your life!
We started this together, boy,
and we'll finish it together.
We'll complete
the training season
and you'll complete it with us.
Come on.
And ladies and gentlemen,
believe me,
it should be the best
welterweight battle
in the past ten years.
And sports fans,
all is not so quiet
on the baseball front
as officials
would have us believe.
While there are no known
organized movements
against Montreal's
Jackie Robinson,
it is a fact that some cities
are expressing
pretty strong sentiments.
So strong, in fact, that I hear
the International League
president, Shaughnessy,
will make a significant visit
to the Brooklyn Dodger office
in the immediate future...
perhaps... tomorrow.
And now, to answer
some mail as time allows.
Branch, I've got to talk to you.
Well, go ahead and talk.
the season opens in
Jersey City tomorrow.
Oh, glad you told me.
And this is your last chance
to avoid a big mistake.
Now suppose you
let me decide that.
You'll break up
the whole International League
playing that colored boy.
I've had letters, phone calls...
I've even polled
all the sportswriters.
What do the sportswriters
have to say?
Jim Flanagan thinks you're
even hurting the Negroes.
This'll stir up
a lot of trouble.
There'll be black
and white fights
all over the country,
and you'll be sorry
you ever started it.
Frank, I've spent
my whole life in baseball,
and I've always
been proud of that,
because I've always
thought baseball
was a fine game, a clean game.
I've always thought
it had a good influence
on the American people,
on the kids growing up.
I've always thought baseball
taught fair play
and sportsmanship.
But if what you say is true,
then I've been all wrong.
My whole life's
been wrong... wasted.
I'll tell you what
I'll do with you.
I'll go out to Jersey City
with you tomorrow
and we'll sit in a front box.
And if anybody's got
any rocks to throw,
they can throw 'em at me.
Phump, phump.
Are you nervous?
A little... maybe.
I won't be when we
get on the field.
Another hour and it'll begin.
Would you rather I didn't go?
Nooo! You might as well come.
If I'm gonna fall on my face,
might as well be
in front of you.
You won't fall down.
I won't if trying will do it.
You think I can run?
Wait'll you see me
this afternoon.
I can't break in
with any scratch hit
and fielder's choice.
I've got to set them
on their ear.
I've got to be
the best ballplayer
they've ever seen anywhere.
That's the spirit.
chewing gum, Cracker Jacks!
Anyone else? Five cents change.
And that's a fact,
ladies and gentlemen...
25,000 people are here to see
baseball history made today
at Roosevelt Stadium
in Jersey City for this...
The opening of the 1946
International League season.
Even though
the ball game has started,
excited fans
are still crowding in
to this huge concrete horseshoe.
It's a holiday throng...
Eager and expectant...
But with one thing in mind.
What will the highly publicized
Jackie Robinson do today?
Will organized baseball's
first Negro player make good,
or... will he fail?
You fans out there,
what do you think?
(man) Programs!
(catcher) Attaboy, Bill!
Come on, Bill!
(catcher) Here you go!
Here, Bill! Here, baby!
Well, I guess
he's got the jitters.
Well, anybody can make an error.
That was an awful easy chance.
Well, as the poet said,
"To err is human,"
and Jackie Robinson
proved himself
indeed a mortal man
in the first inning
by booting that easy play,
Jersey City's first run.
But the game is young, fans...
And so is Jackie.
You're up next... get on deck.
Yes, sir.
Boooo! Boooo...
Play ball!
And now, here's the moment
everyone's been waiting for.
This big crowd
is silent and tense
as Jackie stands there
at the plate.
He's a right-handed batter.
Stands well back in the box,
feet wide apart, very good form.
And every eye in this stadium
is on that boy.
as Jackie stands there,
waiting for that first pitch.
Give it to me, come on!
(umpire) Safe!
(umpire) Safe!
(man) Hurry up, Jackie!
Right here!
(umpire) Strike one!
Balk! Balk!
He made a balk!
Balk! Balk! He made a balk!
Come on in!
Go in, Robinson.
(catcher) All right, here we go.
Come on.
(umpire) Strike!
Yes, sir, folks,
it's a historic day.
But a sad one for Jersey.
There's two out in the ninth,
and the score is 14 to 1
with a single Jersey
City put-out left.
There it goes!
It's a high grounder
to Robinson's left!
It'll be close!
But he stabs it!
Jackie goes
to first for the out,
and the ball game is over!
What a memorable day!
Especially for Jackie Robinson,
and for the president
of the Brooklyn Dodgers,
Branch Rickey.
That's the greatest first day
any ballplayer ever had!
Man, oh, man!
Four hits including a homer,
two stolen bases,
and scored twice on balks.
Yes, he played
a great game, but...
Oh, that's the trouble
with you, Frank.
There you go "but-ing" again.
No, but you know where Montreal
is playing next week, Branch,
and they don't like
colored people there.
Here, look at this.
The sports editor sent it to me.
(vendor) Cold beer, 25.
Hey, punk, give me a beer.
Yeah, me too.
How many altogether?
Make it three.
You got a shine
playin' here this afternoon.
Not me... I ain't got him.
You've got him.
I've got 'im?
I don't live here.
Where you from?
I'm from Brooklyn.
I drive a truck
here once a week.
When you get back home,
tell Rickey that you spoke
with a couple of friends
of his nigger ballplayer.
Yeah... keck... friends.
Don't tell me about it.
I just don't like shines.
That mean anything to ya?
I thought you was
one of the boys.
One of what boys?
Shut up, Spike!
Oh, what's the diff?
We got a little club, kinda.
Branches all over the country.
When they get uppity,
we kinda put 'em in their place.
Look what's comin'.
Ah, this seat is taken.
Excuse me.
Maybe you'd like
to come with us?
Shut up, Spike!
Where you goin'
after the ball game?
The lodge has decided
to send a delegation.
(Spike) That's us.
You hadn't ought
to tell anybody.
Aww, this guy's all right.
We're gonna call on Robinson
soon as the game is over.
We don't like them boys
playin' ball around here.
Not in this town.
Get out there, Robbie.
Let's go, darling... quick!
What's the matter?
Where you goin', black boy?
Don't run away, black boy!
We're the welcoming committee.
Better get out of here.
No, Jackie.
It makes it tougher
havin' you here.
We want to have a talk with you.
We don't want you
in this town, see?
No matter
what happens on the ball field,
you can't fight back.
That's going
to be the hard part...
You can't fight back.
You better not play tomorrow!
Get me?
Get me?
Having any trouble, Jackie?
No... no trouble.
We'll just walk
to the bus with you.
Out of my way, you!
Nice game today, Jackie.
Thanks... thanks a lot.
Yes, Mr. Hopper?
A little present for you.
Just what you need.
Gee, Mr. Hopper,
that's awful nice of you.
New pair of shoes!
Mmmmm... elevator shoes...
add an inch to ya.
Keep you from hittin'
under the ball.
Say, that's wonderful!
That's a great idea!
Thanks a lot, Mr. Hopper.
Sure hope they'll work.
Watch that, Shorty...
You're an inch taller now.
Forgot all about it!
(umpire) Batter up!
That's me.
(umpire) Play ball!
You're out.
(man) Way to go, George.
Nice going.
Hey there, big boy.
What you all doin'
on a white man's field?
Get your carcass out of there
before you get rode out!
Ha-ha-ha - heh-heh.
Here's a brother
of yours, Jackie.
Why don't you take him along.
He wants to get
into baseball too.
Ha-ha... ha
Hey, Jackie...
gimme a shine!
Hey, Sambo, do you want
to wash your dirty ears?
Hey, liver lips,
show us them pearly teeth.
(player) Hey, Jackie,
where'd you get that marcel?
Go back and clean up!
(Rickey) We'll exercise
our option on Klauber.
Right... write Klauber in.
And that's all.
(Hopper) And that's all?
Good, that's fine.
Then Robinson stays in Montreal?
Uhm... for the time being.
Brooklyn and Montreal
will train together in Panama.
We'll have plenty
of chance to see everybody.
you do what you
think best, Branch.
But I'll tell you this...
We've had record attendance
all over our league this year
and if there's any possible way
of leaving Robinson
in Montreal another season...
Well, I think maybe we might.
A boy like that
ought to play every day.
And we've got Burwell
at second base.
That's fine, Branch.
That's wonderful.
All our fans want him.
Besides, I think
they're making too much
out of an ordinary ballplayer,
don't you think, Clay?
He led the league in hittin'.
Well... a minor league.
We won in the
Little World Series too.
Oh, I'm not complaining, Clay.
It's just that I
don't want to burden
a fair ballplayer
with the responsibilities
of a superman.
'Course, Jackie might hit
big league pitching.
But suppose he did come up.
How do we know that he could...
well, that he wouldn't
get out of hand?
How do we know?
Mr. Rickey!
Mr. Rickey, you don't have
to worry none about that boy.
He is the greatest competitor
I ever saw!
And what's more,
he's a gentleman.
I'm glad to hear it.
Bring it right here!
Right through here to me.
Hit me right in
the face with it.
That's close,
but not close enough.
Here it is, right here.
Right there...
Right through the middle.
That's close enough.
Cut it back.
(player) All right, come on!
Attaboy, Jackie.
Made up your mind
on Robinson yet?
I think we'll let him
stay in Montreal another year.
That's great with me,
Mr. Rickey,
but you're makin' a mistake.
We got Burwell on second.
Burwell or no Burwell.
Besides, it'd cause trouble.
there's that petition, you know.
Petition? What petition?
Well, some of the boys...
Half a dozen of your
Brooklyn players
have signed a petition.
They don't want Robinson
on your ball club.
They don't, huh?
Get hold of the men that signed
and bring 'em
to my room at 8 o'clock.
Yes, sir.
And you call
yourselves Americans.
Who's your leader?
Who started this?
Tony, you signed that petition.
You want to deny Robinson
the right to play baseball?
I just don't wanna be
on the same team.
You born in the United States?
Yes, sir.
Your parents...
Where were they born?
My father... in Italy.
And your mother?
She was born in Italy.
They came to America
before you were born.
Your father...
What did he work at
when he came to this country?
On the railroad... a laborer.
Your mother... did she work too?
She, uh, she worked
in a shirt factory.
Your father was
an immigrant laborer.
Did anybody get up
a petition to keep him
from working on the railroad?
Not that I know of.
Did anybody try
to stop your mother
from working
in the shirt factory?
Your parents came
to this country
and were allowed
to work as free people.
And yet, you... a child
and beneficiary
of that freedom...
Want to deny
the same opportunity
to an American whose parents
and grandparents
and great-grandparents
have been in this country
for 200 years.
Is that right?
How about you, Dalby?
Would you have the courage
to tell Robinson
that to his face
here, behind closed doors?
Tell him that he can't play
on the same team with you?
Tell him you're
not gonna let him
earn his living as a ballplayer?
Answer me, sir!
Mr. Rickey,
I... wasn't thinkin'.
I didn't think.
And that, sir, explains why
your teammates
call you "Ironhead."
Yes, sir.
Karpen, you've been
in baseball a long time.
Do you want to play
on the Dodgers with Robinson?
No, sir, I don't.
Will you play with Robinson?
I'd rather not, sir.
Would you like
to have your contract
transferred to another club?
Yes, sir, I would.
I may accommodate you, sir.
All right, men.
I respect your right
to petition.
But I do question
and I will fight
any petition
that denies any American
the right to earn his living
in a game that is
supposed to represent
the democratic principles
of sportsmanship and fair play!
Do you understand me?!
- (Tony) Yes, sir.
- (Dalby) Yes, sir.
That's all for tonight.
Your suits are in your lockers.
There's a ball game tomorrow.
I hope I'll see you there...
in uniform.
Yes, sir.
Jackie, Montreal is starting
a 12-game series
with the Dodgers.
Yes, sir.
Take this.
During that series I want you
to play first base for Montreal.
First base?
Mr. Rickey, I've never
played first base.
We're protected
at second base, Jackie.
We've got Burwell.
Brooklyn can use
a good first baseman.
Oh, I see.
Go out there and show 'em.
Run their legs off.
Yes, sir!
I sure will!
(catcher) Right here now!
Come on!
(umpire) Ball!
All right, come on, Lefty!
Get him out of there!
Make him pitch to ya.
(player) Take it, Jackie!
(umpire) He's out!
Fine play.
(umpire) Batter up!
Come on now.
All right, Lefty, come on, boy.
(umpire) You're out!
A great play!
Yeah, but a little dangerous.
I think I'll move over
to the Brooklyn side.
(Rickey) Karpen.
You wanted to keep Robinson
off the Brooklyn team?
Yes, sir.
Then why do you keep feeding him
those big fat ones?
I ain't feedin' him no fat ones.
Then how'd he get
three hits off you?
Just lucky.
All right, Karpen.
He's up first in this inning.
If you want to keep him
off the team,
I'll tell you how you can do it.
Strike him out.
Okay, watch me.
(umpire) Play ball!
(umpire) Ball one!
That's the way to throw 'im out.
Come on now!
Give me a good ball now!
Thattaboy now!
Here to me now!
Let's get this game started.
Hey, Barney... win this game
and I'll give you
a great big kiss.
What's the matter with you guys?
You think I don't mean it?
Sit down!
Hey, Robinson,
why don't you go back
to Harlem where you belong?
Why don't you
drop dead, Robinson?
Greetings from Ebbets Field.
They call it big league
baseball, folks,
because you've got to be bigger
and better to stay up here.
That's the problem
confronting Jackie Robinson
at this very minute
as he goes to bat
for the first time
in a big league game.
Oh, yes, I know he's done
all right in training...
I've seen the papers too.
But that was only practice.
From now on, it's for keeps.
There's a little man
upstairs in the press box
who's known among other things
as the official scorer.
He watches like a hawk.
He marks down everything.
He'll make a mark for every move
that Jackie Robinson makes...
Good or bad.
And not only
the official scorer's eyes
are on the Negro rookie...
the whole world is waiting.
Everybody wants to know
if Branch Rickey
has made a mistake.
Will they be able to say
"I told you so"?
Let's see.
Down, Jack!
He made it! He made it!
He got a triple!
So what?
What do you mean "so what?"
Sit down.
You'll lose your
tightness in a few days.
It's nerves, that's all.
I just can't get on
to shifting my feet.
I missed the bag
completely today
in the third inning.
If they'd only let you
play second base.
We've got Burwell
at second base.
First is where they need me.
If you can't get it
and it worries you...
It's got me worried.
And it's got me where
I'm not hitting, either.
You're still
their best base runner.
They can't take
that away from you.
Yeah, but you can't steal first.
What've you got in those hands?
Steel springs?
They're nurse's hands, remember?
They'd better nurse me
out of this slump,
or Mr. Rickey will be
lookin' for a new boy.
Don't wait till you feel
the bag under your foot.
Do it all in one motion.
I just can't get the hang of it.
Try another one.
That's worse.
(player) Here, let
me show you how.
You almost had it last time.
When you miss the bag,
you kick back for it like this.
Here, you try it.
That's the idea.
All you have to do
is practice now.
Why'd he want to do that?
If I can't make
the grade at first base,
he'd have his old job back.
He's a team player, Jackie.
Yeah, and the weatherman
apologizes for the recent rain.
Well, let's get serious, folks.
They can't say
that Branch Rickey
hasn't given Jackie Robinson
a king-sized opportunity
in staying
in big league baseball.
On that last road trip,
when the California boy
wasn't hitting too well,
some of the
out-of-town sportswriters
said that Jackie
should have been out of there.
He had a little trouble
with first base...
Playing it and reaching it.
He just couldn't come up
with that extra base hit.
Right now, I see Jackie
stepping into the box.
All right, bring it in
out there.
Here we go!
Come on, babe.
All right, let's go.
Here it is.
Thattaboy, Jackie.
What happened to you?!
Keep your
fingers crossed, folks.
It may be that the rookie,
Jackie Robinson,
is a big league
ballplayer after all.
But he had us
all worried, didn't he?
Going to the plate 19
straight times without a hit.
But the pendulum
can swing both ways,
and it may be
that Jackie has started
on a hitting streak now.
In baseball, it's not
who or what you are,
but can you play the game?
And Jackie Robinson
sure is playing it.
Well, Dalby, he's hitting again.
Yeah, we might win
the pennant now.
You're out of the game, Kelly!
He knocked me down!
Didn't you spike the
Cub shortstop last week?
That was an accident.
So was this an accident.
They're all accidents!
Let's get out there!
Next time I get on base,
watch out for spikes.
Get off the field!
You better get Robinson
off the field.
Yeah, get him off.
Get him out of here.
Anybody lookin' for
a little argument?
Yes, I am!
You're out of the game too.
Who me?
Yes, you.
What's the big idea,
you dirty little...
Get off the field
or it's gonna cost you plenty!
(Dalby) Let's get out of here!
(Karpen) Let me at that guy!
Come on, get out... play ball.
Come on, Jackie.
Go ahead, go on!
Hey, Mike!
What's happened to my clothes?
I got them over here.
Come here,
I'll show them to you.
I got a locker for ya.
The Brooklyn Dodgers
really are pouring it on now.
They're up at bat
with one run behind
in the ninth inning
and Brooklyn hearts today
have skipped more beats
than an absent-minded policeman.
Well, this boy's set fire
to the league since midseason
when he hit safely
in 21 straight games,
missing the league record
by one.
He's laid down
42 successful bunts...
A prodigious number.
He's a cinch to be voted
the Rookie of the Year,
Now we've got
a runner on second,
the tying run,
and Jackie Robinson
is at the plate.
He can't bunt now.
He's got to hit straight away.
There are two out.
Come on!
Wait a minute!
(umpire) Strike!
Watch your glove, huh?
Oh, go on!
Get up there and hit the ball.
Come on, Jackie boy,
get a hold of one!
(umpire) Ball!
(catcher) All right, here we go.
Come on.
(umpire) Strike!
All right.
The tying run scored on Jackie's
base hit to center field
and it's a new ball game now
with Jackie Robinson
on second base
representing the winning run.
And the crowd here's gone mad.
Strike one!
(umpire) Safe!
Well, folks, the game is over,
and the Dodgers win the pennant!
And where's my aspirin?
That was my boy!
Did you see my Jackie?
Yeah, I sure did.
Ah, he is some boy!
Jackie, congratulations.
Thank you, sir... same to you.
By the way, Mr. Rickey,
there's something bothering me.
About that invitation
to Washington...
Do you really think I should go?
Yes, Jackie, I do.
To Washington... to the Senate,
to the House of Representatives,
to the American people.
You've earned
the right to speak.
They want you to speak...
about things on your mind,
about a threat to peace
that's on
everybody's mind, Jackie.
Now you can fight back.
"I know that life
in these United States
"can be mighty tough for people
"who are a little different
from the majority.
"I'm not fooled
because I've had a chance
"open to very few
Negro Americans,
"but I do know
that democracy works
"for those who are willing
to fight for it,
"and I'm sure
it's worth defending.
"I can't speak
for any 15 million people.
"No one person can.
"But I'm certain that I,
"and other Americans
of many races and faiths,
"have too much invested
in our country's welfare
to throw it away,
or to let it be taken from us."
(man) Yes, this is the
Jackie Robinson story,
but it is not his story alone.
Not his victory alone.
It is one that
each of us shares...
a story, a victory
that can only happen
in a country that is truly free.
A country where every child
has the opportunity
to become President,
or play baseball
for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Funding for purchase
and captioning of this video
was provided by the
U.S. Department of Education:
1-800-572-5580 (V).