By Ed Odeven
TOKYO (March 11, 2018) — Fifty years after Jackie Robinson’s first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Major League Baseball honored the historic day in American history on April 15, 1997. It’s one of my all-time favorite days in sports history, even if the Hall of Famer wasn’t alive to observe this special day.
Since then, Robinson’s legacy as the man who broke MLB’s color barrier continues to be honored and discussed.
Other sports figures, of course, helped pave the way for the racial integration of college and pro sports in the United States. One of the most important individuals was former Vanderbilt University basketball player Perry Wallace, who was the first black to compete on a Southeastern Conference basketball court. The native of Nashville, Tennessee,did so from 1967-70. (In 2004, his No. 25 jersey was retired by Vandy.)
In a recent interview, Andrew Maraniss, author…
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