Monday, January 31, 2011

Spring training in Cuba launched Robinson's historic 1947 season

Jan. 31: On this day in 1919, Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo, Ga.

The 1947 season which ushered Robinson's ascension to the majors, breaking baseball's color barrier, began with spring training in Havana for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Robinson's Montreal Royals.

According to Cuban Baseball: A Statistical History, 1878-1961, Robinson batted .421 in games against a Cuban all-star team and the Havana Cubans of the Florida International League.

In this Associated Press wire photo, Robinson is sitting next to Dodgers manager Leo Durocher in the dugout at Havana's El Gran Stadium.

The photo received a winning bid of $100 at Leland's June 2010.

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