The year 1945 was a year of wars ending, soldiers returning home, and segregation. The African American men who fought in World War 2 returned home to violent mods, racism and hatred. Even though this year and more years to come were all battles fought by African Americans worldwide, 1945 was a huge start to something new. It was a big jump for not only the black community but for the sports industry as well.

Black History & Baseball

October 30, 1945 became a day that changed history. On this day, Branch Rickey, the general manager of the Dodgers, signed Jackie Robinson to the Montreal Royals. Not only did he sign one African American to play in major league baseball, but they also signed Roy Partlow and John Wright. This new trio was added to the team right before the AAA 1946 major league season.

Mixed Feelings

Jackie Robinson and the others faced racial differences with opponents, the opposing teams’ crowds and their manager, Clay Hopper. Unlike Hopper, all of the Royals fans supported these newcomers and their families. The fans supported what the Royals owner, Hector Racine and general manager, Branch Rickey, had for the Royals’ future. The racial resistance and differences didn’t hold this team back either. In 1946 this diverse team won the International League title.

And The Royals Have It

These forward-thinking individuals all made history without even realizing it. Racine and Rickey took a chance at hiring these baseball players even though the rest of the league wasn’t ready to take the same action. Robinson, Partlow, and Wright all followed their dream as they fought off the negative influences they were surrounded by. Each of these five men made a huge impact on history and opened doors for hundreds of athletes in history.