Jackie Robinson began writing the story that would turn him into a legend when he played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the season of 1947.
He’s now known as the man that broke baseball’s color barrier, but his stellar appearance—he went on to win the NL Rookie of the Year award that year—didn’t mean that every team in baseball embraced black players right off the bat (see what I did there?).
It would actually take 12 years for the 16 teams the league had back then to feature a player of color on their rosters.
“Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, but that didn’t mean that in 1948 all the teams welcomed black players,” professor and author Adrián Burgos Jr said. “As history shows us, he was the first one but there were other often forgotten players that had to go through the same route at each baseball team.”