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JACKIE ROBINSON AND THE LOS ANGELES RED DEVILS
Contributed by Al Kirk and Robert Bradley
Jackie Robinson is certainly best-know as the first African-American player in
Major League Baseball.  Few people realize that while in college at UCLA Baseball
was far from Robinson's best sport.  Robinson excelled at track and field, football
(alongside future NFL pioneer Kenny Washington) and basketball.  He remains UCLA's
only four-sport letterman (football 1939 and 1940, basketball 1940 and 1941, track
and field 1940 and baseball 1940).

As a football player at UCLA Robinson led the nation in punt return average in
1939 (16.5 yards) and 1940 (21.0 yards) and his career average of 18.8 yards ranks
fourth in NCAA history.  During his senior year he led UCLA in rushing (383 yards),
passing (444 yards), total offense (827 yards), scoring (36 points) and punt returns
(21.0 yards).  In his career, he rushed for 954 yards (5.9 average) and passed for
449 yards.
As a basketball player Robinson led Pacific Coast Conference's Southern Division in
scoring in both 1940 (12.4 average in 12 league games) and 1941 (11.1 average in
12 league games) and was named All-PCC Southern Division in 1940.

Robinson's UCLA track career was abbreviated as he missed most of the 1940 season
while playing baseball but he still managed to win the NCAA title in the broad
jump (24' 10 1/4") as well as the broad jump at the Pacific Coast Conference meet
with a leap of 25' 0".
Ironically, Robinson's least impressive accomplishments in college were as a
baseball player as he batted .097 during the California Intercollegiate Baseball
Association's 1940 season.  In his first game (10Mar40), he totaled four hits and
stole four bases, including home once.
After his military service during World War II Robinson signed a baseball contract
with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues in April of 1945.  Brooklyn
Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey then signed Robinson (who had an earlier
tryout for the Boston Red Sox) and he was assigned to their Montreal Royals minor
league club.  On 15Apr47 Robinson made his Major League Baseball debut, playing
first base against the Philadelphia Phillies who were managed by Ben Chapman (a
southerner who was vocal in his opposition to integration.  Chapman would also
spent his offseason involved in basketball as the coach of the Birmingham team in
the Southern Basketball League in 1948-49).

The signing of Robinson was a tremendous success for the Dodgers as he was named
National League Rookie of the Year in 1947 and MVP in 1949.  Robinson's trademark
was his aggressive, take no prisoner style of play.  And with Robinson the Dodgers
would reach the World Series in 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955 and 1956.  Robinson
retired as a player in 1956 after the Dodgers tried to trade him to their hated
rivals, the New York Giants.
Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 and was named as a
charter member of UCLA's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1984.

1946-47 LOS ANGELES RED DEVILS
GAME RESULTS
  OA - Olympic Auditorium
  EM - El Monte American Legion Floor
  LH - Loyola High School Gymnasium
DATE   SITE OPPONENT (LEAGUE)           OPP-LA NOTES
 8Nov46 OA  Sheboygan Red Skins (NBL)    36-42
 9Nov46 OA  Sheboygan Red Skins (NBL)    38-39
15Nov46 OA  Harlem Renaissance           43-47
16Nov46 OA  Harlem Renaissance           25-46
22Nov46 OA  Chicago American Gears (NBL) 59-56
23Nov46 OA  Chicago American Gears (NBL) 46-47 Robinson 13 PTS
29Nov46 OA  Salem Trailblazers (PCPBL)   40-58 Robinson 12 PTS
30Nov46 OA  Salem Trailblazers (PCPBL)   61-37 Robinson 8 PTS
 4Dec46 EM  March Field Flyers           31-39 Robinson 9 PTS
 6Dec46 OA  Flint Dow A.C.'s             38-46
 7Dec46 OA  Flint Dow A.C.'s             46-57 Robinson 11 PTS
20Dec46 OA  San Diego Wizards            34-44 Robinson 11 PTS
21Dec46 OA  San Diego Wizards            ----- Game Cancelled
 3Jan47 OA  San Francisco All-Nations    28-37 Robinson 4 PTS
 4Jan47 OA  San Francisco All-Nations    22-59
15Jan47 LH  Broadway Clowns              30-26
16Jan47 LH  Broadway Clowns              27-40
LOS ANGELES DEVILS ROSTER
Bob Cotton
  Cochrane
Geore Crowe              F
  Cunningham
  Davis
  Freeze                 G
  Genrdum
Everett "Ziggy" Marcell  G
  Miller                 F
Irv Noren                F
Eddie Oran               G
  Redford
Jackie Robinson          F
Art Stoefen              C