Ohio-born Jackie Robinson was a star athlete at the University of California before joining the army during World War II when it was still segregated. He was court-martialed for insubordination for refusing to go to the back of a public bus at Fort Hood, Texas. While he was playing baseball for the Negro American League, he came to the attention of Brooklyn Dodger general manager Branch Rickey who signed him to what was then an all-white team in an all-white league. On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke professional baseball's color bar. During that year he suffered continual harassment from fans and players alike, but still became the 1947 Rookie of the Year. He retired from the game ten years later, and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
>> Learn more: http://espn.go.com/sportscentury/features/00016431.html