Branch Rickey

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Self-will so ardent and active that it will break a world to pieces to make a stool to sit on.
Richard Cecil
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Wesley Branch Rickey (December 15, 1881December 9, 1965) was actively involved in Major League Baseball for 50 years. During his career in baseball, he developed the farm system and signed the first Hispanic major league player, Roberto Clemente. However, his most significant accomplishment was helping to integrate organized white baseball in 1946, when Jackie Robinson played his first and only season with the minor league club Montreal Expos. Robinson would integrate Major League Baseball on April 15, 1947 as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers.


  • ....Humankind, -- that all men anthropological come from the same source, with the same potentials, must have a potential equality in chance and opportunity and that is so right, I think, that posterity will look back upon what we are doing today in our domestic issues here. They will look back upon it, I think, with incredulity and they'll wonder what the issue was all about. I really think so. It's solved in baseball. It'll be solved educationally. It'll be solved everywhere in the course of time.
  • My eight years in Brooklyn gave me a new vision of America, or rather America gave me a new vision of a part of itself, Brooklyn. They were wonderful years. A community of over three million people, proud, hurt, jealous, seeking geographical, social, emotional status as a city apart and alone and sufficient. One could not live for eight years in Brooklyn and not catch its spirit of devotion to its baseball club, such as no other city in America equaled. Call it loyalty, and so it was. It would be a crime against a community of three million people to move the Dodgers. Not that the move was unlawful, since people have the right to do as they please with their property. But a baseball club in any city in America is a quasi-public institution, and in Brooklyn the Dodgers were public without the quasi.
    • On the relocation of the Dodgers from Brooklyn to Los Angeles; quoted in Bob McGee, The Greatest Ballpark Ever: Ebbets Field and the Story of the Brooklyn Dodgers (Rutgers University Press, 2005 ISBN 0813536006, 9780813536002), p. 294 [2]
  • Baseball people are generally allergic to new ideas; it took years to persuade them to put numbers on uniforms, and it is the hardest thing in the world to get Major League Baseball to change anything—even spikes on a new pair of shoes—but they will eventually...they are bound to.

About Branch Rickey

  • Branch Rickey made me a better man.
    • Bobby Bragan explaining why he had come to Rickey's funeral. Bragan, who was a catcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, had initially tried to stop Rickey from integrating the team [4].

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