On this day in 1947, Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He spent the 1945 season with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues before signing with the Dodgers, spending a year in the minor leagues and breaking in with Brooklyn the following season. The Negro League Baseball Museum in Kansas City has a baseball that has the autographs of both Robinson and Ty Cobb, who was considered by many to be the most recognizable racist in baseball. John Moore, who became friends with Robinson in the Army, originally owned the ball. His daughters, Janice Owens and Yvonne Crowe eventually inherited the ball after Moore died and have loaned it tot he NLBM for five years. It may seem odd to have a piece of Ty Cobb memorabilia in the Negro League Baseball Museum, however Bob Kendrick, marketing director of the museum, sees it as a chance to learn more about their story, “People will, I think, embrace the irony of it all…it gives us an opportunity to take that irony and turn it into something that is a learning experience”.
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