Jackie Robinson (1919-72) Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia., on January 31, 1919 to Jerry and Mallie Robinson. He grew up in Pasadena, California. In high school and at Pasadena Junior College he showed great athletic skill in track, basketball, football, and baseball. He left school in 1941 and was drafted the following year for Army service during World War II. After receiving a medical discharge in 1945, Jackie Robinson decided to tryout for the Boston Red Sox, but ended up not making the team. He spent a year playing baseball with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro National League. Later he played in the 1946 season with the Montreal Royals, a Dodgers farm club, and led the International League in hitting with a .349 average. He stole 40 bases and scored 113 runs. When the Dodgers opened their 1947 season, Robinson was playing second base. On April 10, 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first black player to sign a major league contract in the 20th century. During his first game, Jackie went hitless in three at-bats, but flawlessly handled 11 chances at first base. In 1947, Jackie hit .297 and stole 29 bases while also playing first base for the Dodgers. Jackie led the National League in stolen bases and was named rookie of the year. The main problem he had to overcome was controlling his short temper after hearing so many racial remarks from the crowds and other ball players, including his own teammates. On July 12, 1949, Jackie Robinson made his All-Star game debut for the National league. This was the first time that a black player participated in an All-Star game. On October 6, 1949, Jackie Robinson scored the only run in the Dodgers 1-0 win over the New York Yankees in game two of the World Series. This was the only game that the Dodgers won in the 1949 World Series. In 1949, with a .342 average, he was named the most valuable player in the league. He was one of the game's best base runners, with a total of 197 stolen bases.