News & TV Icon Larry King (Attendee at Jackie Robinson’s first MLB Game in 1947); The Reverend Al Sharpton; Master P; Actor Paul Sorvino (Goodfellas, “Law & Order”); New York Mets in-game host Brandern Wellington; Collectors Café Founder & CEO Mykalai Kontilai; Documents of Freedom Historian Seth Kaller; Brooklyn Borough Representatives; City Officials & Dignitaries all gather together this morning for the unveiling of the long-lost Jackie Robinson “Color Barrier”-breaking contracts. Both the Brooklyn Dodgers professional baseball contract, signed April 11, 1947 & Montreal Royals minor league contract signed October 23, 1945 were present. This will be the first time these contracts have been on view to the public in nearly seven decades. The documents have been described as “the founding documents of the modern Civil Rights era.” Mayor de Blasio recently declared week of April 11 “Jackie Robinson Week” in NYC; April 14 is the MLB’s annual “Jackie Robinson Day.”
Jackie Robinson made history in 1947 when he broke the Major League Baseball color barrier to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers and consequentially igniting the Modern Civil Rights Movement. A talented player, Robinson won the National League Rookie of the Year award his first season, and helped the Dodgers to the National League championship – the first of his six trips to the World Series. In 1949 Robinson won the league MVP award, and he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. Despite his skill, Robinson faced a barrage of insults and threats because of his race. The courage and grace with which Robinson handled the abuses inspired a generation of African Americans to question the doctrine of “separate but equal” and paved the way for the Civil Rights Movement.