Published : Thursday, November 16, 2017 | 6:44 AM
Long before Jack “Jackie” Robinson would become the legendary baseball player who broke the major leagues’ color barrier, he was a child who learned how to run and throw a baseball with the coaching of three older brothers practicing outside their house at 121 Pepper Street in Northwest Pasadena.
He spent his childhood years there, a four-bedroom clapboard house which his mother bought in 1922. Robinson lived there with his family from 1922 to 1946. He played football, basketball, track, and baseball for John Muir High School and went on to play those sports at UCLA.
The house has since been torn down and was replaced in 1977 by the present three-bedroom home with two baths that measures 1,198 square feet.
It’s up for sale now. Asking price? $649,900.
A little plaque is affixed to the present house which reads: “Jackie Robinson resided on this site with his family from 1922 to 1946.” It reminds visitors and passersby that it was there where the baseball legend grew-up.
Although Robinson was born into a family of sharecroppers in Cairo, Georgia on January 31, 1919, he grew up in Pasadena after moving there with his mother Mallie (McGriff) and siblings Edgar, Frank, Matthew, and Willa Mae when their father left in 1920.
Robinson’s star shone brightly in the years following World War Two. On Aprill 15, 1947, he broke the baseball color line when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base. When the Dodgers signed Robinson, they heralded the end of racial segregation in professional baseball that had relegated African-American players to the Negro leagues since the 1880s.
Robinson had an exceptional 10-year baseball career. He was MLB Rookie of the Year in 1947 and was an All-Star for six consecutive seasons from 1949 through 1954.
He also played in six World Series and was instrumental to the Dodgers’ 1955 World Series victory. In 1962, Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
After his death in 1972, he was posthumously bestowed with the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of his achievements.