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The story of Jackie Robinson from his signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization in 1945 to his historic 1947 rookie season when he broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball.
Branch Rickey: You think God likes baseball, Herb? Herb Pennock: What - ? What the hell is that supposed to mean? Branch Rickey: It means someday you're gonna meet God, and when he inquires as to why you didn't take the field against Robinson in Philadelphia, and you answer that it's because he was a Negro, it may not be a sufficient reply!
Ben Chapman: Hey, Stanky, what's it like bein' a nigger's nigger? Eddie Stanky: I dunno, Chapman, what's it like bein' a redneck piece of shit?
Pee Wee Reese: Maybe tomorrow, we'll all wear 42, so nobody could tell us apart.
Jackie Robinson: You want a player who doesn't have the guts to fight back? Branch Rickey: No. I want a player who's got the guts *not* to fight back. Jackie Robinson: You give me a uniform, you give me a number on my back, I'll give you the guts.
Jackie Robinson: I don't think it matters what I believe, only what I do.
Jackie Robinson: I don't care if they like me. I didn't come here to make friends. I don't even care if they respect me. I know who I am. I've got enough respect for myself. I do not want them to beat me. Rachel Robinson: They're never going to beat you. Jackie Robinson: They... came close today.
reporter: Whatcha gonna do if one of these pitchers throws for your head? Jackie Robinson: I'll duck.
Branch Rickey: [Referring to Jackie Robinson] He's a Methodist, I'm a Methodist... And God's a Methodist; We can't go wrong.
Burt Shotton: When I took the Cleveland uniform off two years ago I promised the missus I'd never put on another uniform again. So the roses are beautiful and, uh, I sleep better too. Branch Rickey: Roses and sleep are two wonderful things, Burt. But sleep you can get when you're in your casket, and flowers look great on top of it. But, uh, you don't look like a dead man to me, Burt.
[last lines] Wendell Smith: [typing his news story] Robinson rounds third, headed for home sweet home.
Branch Rickey: Your enemy will be out in force. But you cannot meet him on his own low ground.
Leo Durocher: If Robinson can help us win, then he is gonna play on this ball club!
reporter: Baseball was proof positive that democracy was real. A baseball box score after all, is a democratic thing. It doesn't say how big you are, or what religion you follow it does not know how you voted, or the color of your skin, it simply states what kind of ballplayer you were on any particular day.
Branch Rickey: It's another opening day, Harold. All future, no past. Harold Parrott: It's a blank page, sir.
Branch Rickey: We had a victory of fascism in Germany. It's time, time we had a victory over racism at home.
[from trailer] Jackie Robinson: I'm not goin' anywhere! I'm right here!
Kirby Higbe: I got traded... to Pittsburgh!
[from trailer] Branch Rickey: Jackie Robinson. A black man in white baseball.
[from trailer] Ben Chapman: Why don'tcha look in a mirror? This is a white man's game!