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Jackie Robinson Day: A quick look at the Brooklyn Dodgers legend’s one year in the minors

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MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

April 15, 1947. The Brooklyn Dodgers insert Jackie Robinson into the lineup and baseball was forever changed. Robinson went 0-for-3 that day, scoring a run in the Dodgers 5-3 win over the Boston Braves. The next day he began a five-game hitting streak that eventually propelled him to win the Rookie of the Year award now named in his honor.

Robinson had a brief stint in the Negro Leagues before Branch Rickey signed Robinson and assigned him to the Montreal Royals of the International League. His team went 100-54 in 1946, taking down the New York Yankees affiliate Newark Bears in the semifinals and the Cincinnati Reds affiliate Syracuse Chiefs for the IL championship. Not a bad start to his career.

That season, Robinson not only led the team in batting average but the entire International League with a .349 mark. The same went for on-base percentage (.468) and stolen bases as his 40 topped the IL. He hit 25 doubles, eight triples, and three home runs all while swiping 40-of-55 stolen base attempts. He began a long trend of outstanding plate discipline, striking out 27 times and walking 92 in 553 plate appearances.

He also completed his transition from shortstop to second base, which he began in spring training. He made just 10 errors, posting a .985 fielding percentage for the season. That helped lead the Royals to the best fielding percentage in the IL. I bet you are starting to see a trend, huh?

That was all he needed. Robinson began the 1947 season with that 0-fer and the rest is history. Albeit brief, Robinson left a mark on International League lure with a season to be remembered in Montreal.