Opening Day by Jonathan Eig
The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season

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This bestselling account of the most important season in baseball history, 1947, tells the dramatic story of how Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and changed baseball forever.

April 15, 1947, marked the most important opening day in baseball history. When Jackie Robinson stepped onto the diamond that afternoon at Ebbets Field, he became the first black man to break into major-league baseball in the twentieth century. World War II had just ended. Democracy had triumphed. Now Americans were beginning to press for justice on the home front—and Robinson had a chance to lead the way.

In Opening Day, Jonathan Eig tells the true story behind the national pastime’s most sacred myth. He offers new insights into events of sixty years ago and punctures some familiar legends. Was it true that the St. Louis Cardinals plotted to boycott their first home game against the Brooklyn Dodgers? Was Pee Wee Reese really Robinson’s closest ally on the team? Was Dixie Walker his greatest foe? How did Robinson handle the extraordinary stress of being the only black man in baseball and still manage to perform so well on the field? Opening Day is also the story of a team of underdogs that came together against tremendous odds to capture the pennant. Facing the powerful New York Yankees, Robinson and the Dodgers battled to the seventh game in one of the most thrilling World Series competitions of all time.

Drawing on interviews with surviving players, sportswriters, and eyewitnesses, as well as newly discovered material from archives around the country, Jonathan Eig presents a fresh portrait of a ferocious competitor who embodied integration’s promise and helped launch the modern civil-rights era. Full of new details and thrilling action, Opening Day brings to life baseball’s ultimate story.

About Jonathan Eig

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Jonathan Eig is a former writer and editor for the Chicago bureau of The Wall Street Journal and the former executive editor of Chicago magazine. He is the author of two highly acclaimed bestsellers, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig and Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season. Luckiest Man won the Casey Award for best baseball book of 2005, and Opening Day was selected as one of the best books of 2007 by the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Sports Illustrated. Mr. Eig lives in Chicago, half a mile from the site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, with his family.
Published March 20, 2007 by Simon & Schuster. 338 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Sports & Outdoors, Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Understanding that overcoming that perception would require players to have more than mere talent, Rickey shrewdly chose a man who wasn’t necessarily the most skilled black player available, Eig contends, but had the greatest will to win.

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Suite 101

Chris Spielman, retired NFL football star, writes a moving book about his life in football, his family and his wife Stefanie's battle with breast cancer.

Apr 23 2009 | Read Full Review of Opening Day: The Story of Jac...

Project MUSE

Rather than a full-fledged Robinson biography or a sweeping examination of his place within the broader Civil Rights/U.S. history realms, Eig focuses on the events of the 1947 baseball season itself.

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The Hardball Times

The legend truthfully tells us that during the historic meeting between Rickey and Robinson, the general manager badgered Robinson about how he would react to the stress and derision thrust at him, before telling Robinson he wanted someone who had the guts not to fight back.

May 14 2007 | Read Full Review of Opening Day: The Story of Jac...

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