Jackie Robinson - National Broad Jumping Record

Jackie Robinson - National Broad Jumping Record Tragedies and Triumphs American History African American History Famous People Social Studies Sports

Playing baseball for Pasadena Junior College - during the same season as he was a Bulldog track-and-field star - Jack Robinson seemed to excel at every sport.  On some days he played baseball in one town, then broad-jumped in another.

We learn more about his stellar, multi-sport abilities from Arnold Rampersad's Jackie Robinson:  A Biography (at page 56):

Earlier that day [before helping his school to win a baseball game], in Pomona, about forty miles away, Jack jumped 25 feet 6½ inches on the last of his three allotted tries at the Southern California Junior College track meet to set a national junior college record.  In the process, he erased his brothers mark, which Mack [an Olympic silver medalist, in 1936] had set one year before at the Drake Relays in Iowa.

Of his base-running prowess, the school's newspaper - the PJC Chronicle - reported that Robinson was nearly unmatched:

  • ... the greatest base runner ever to play on a junior college team

  • one of the most sensational fielders in the business.

In this photo, we see Jack Robinson as a Bruin, broad jumping for UCLA (where he wanted to concentrate on his studies and limit his sport activities to football and broad jumping).

At about the time this photograph was taken, in 1940, Jack endured one of his life's greatest losses.  While riding his motorcycle, Frank Robinson - Jack's brother - was struck by an oncoming car.  He died, just hours later. 

Media Credits

Jack Robinson broad-jumping for UCLA.  Photo online, courtesy Robinson Foundation via Earlham College.


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"Jackie Robinson - National Broad Jumping Record" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Aug 18, 2018.
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