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Philadelphia Apologizes to Jackie Robinson … 69 Years Later

In 1947, when Jackie Robinson, the first African American player in pro baseball, stepped to the plate against Philadelphia Phillies they heaped abuse on him. Ben Chapman, the Phillies manager, repeatedly taunted Robinson with racial slurs. They told Robinson to go back to the cotton fields. Robinson later said that it was the closest he came to cracking and retaliating.

Now 69 years later, the City Council of Philadelphia has offered an official apology. As The New York Times article notes, "The apology comes as Major League Baseball, on Friday, celebrates the 69th anniversary of Robinson's first game with the Dodgers with its Jackie Robinson Day, initiated in 2004. Every major league player wears Robinson's No. 42, an annual sight in baseball. What is different this year is the apology from the City of Philadelphia for the manner in which the Phillies treated Robinson when he began his career."


Marc Tracy, “69 Years Later, Philadelphia Apologizes to Jackie Robinson,” The New York Times (4-14-16)

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