Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I guess I didn't realize...

...until today what a great all-around athlete Jackie Robinson was. From the Trib's "Countdown to high school football kickoff" (all emphasis mine):

1918. Birth year of Mooseheart grad and former Marmion football coach Nick Kerasiotis, who played 10 games with the Bears in the 1940s. Kerasiotis played with Jackie Robinson in the 1941 college all-star football game against the Bears.

That led me to Robinson's page in Wikipedia:

After graduating from Pasadena Junior College in spring 1939, Robinson transferred to UCLA, where he became the school's first athlete to win varsity letters in four sports: baseball, basketball, football, and track.

He was one of four black players on the 1939 UCLA Bruins football team. At a time when only a few black students played mainstream college football, this made UCLA college football's most integrated team.

In track and field, Robinson won the 1940 NCAA Men's Track and Field Championships in the Long Jump.

In the fall of 1941, Robinson traveled to Honolulu to play football for the semi-professional, racially integrated Honolulu Bears. After a short season, Robinson returned to California in December 1941 to pursue a career as running back for the Los Angeles Bulldogs of the Pacific Coast Football League. By that time, however, the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor had taken place, drawing the United States into World War II and ending Robinson's nascent football career.

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