How good was Jackie Robinson?
So good that in high school, he even got written up in opponents’ yearbooks—after beating them:
At Pasadena Junior College, he wowed folks in track,
the sport that led to his being dubbed the greatest individual athlete on the greatest team in PJC history in 1938.
He even excelled at “outstanding service to the school” by those “whose scholastic and citizenship record is worthy of recognition” and was tapped for membership in the Mast and Dagger society during his second year, “the highest honor attainable at PJC.”
He was so good, that during his first year at UCLA, he appeared in captions for photos he wasn’t even in, like this one of a group of sophomore class officers downing their drink “with all the speed of a Jackie Robinson 60-yard dash.”
Jackie started making his name on the gridiron for the Bruins in 1939.
The Bruins had a tough season the next year, but Robinson was one of the bright spots, whether they were losing to Stanford:
Or during their one win against Washington State:
It was news (good and bad) when Jackie chose baseball over track.
He even made it into rival USC’s yearbook for his prowess on the hardwood.
And he made news again when he left UCLA early.
How good was Jackie Robinson? He seemed to fill any stage he took. Long before he ever stepped onto the diamond to break Major League Baseball’s color barrier, he had already proved that one campus, one floor, or one field would not be large enough to contain Jackie Robinson.
You can look for your big men, and women, on campus in our U.S. School Yearbooks collection.