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Short Synopsis
April 15, 1947, marked the most important opening day in baseball history. When Jackie Robinson stepped onto the diamond that afternoon at Ebbets Field, he became the first black man to break into major-league baseball in the twentieth century. In Opening Day, Jonathan Eig tells the true story behind the national pastime's most sacred myth. Drawing on interviews with surviving players, sportswriters, and eyewitnesses, as well as newly discovered material from archives around the country, Eig presents a fresh portrait of a ferocious competitor who embodied integration's promise and helped launch the modern civil rights era.

Full Synopsis
April 15, 1947, marked the most important opening day in baseball history. When Jackie Robinson stepped onto the diamond that afternoon at Ebbets Field, he became the first black man to break into major-league baseball in the twentieth century. World War II had just ended. Democracy had triumphed. Now Americans were beginning to press for justice on the home front—and Robinson had a chance to lead the way.

He was an unlikely hero. He had little experience in organized baseball. His swing was far from graceful. And he was assigned to play first base, a position he had never tried before that season. But the biggest concern was his temper. Robinson was an angry man who played an aggressive style of ball. In order to succeed he would have to control himself in the face of what promised to be a brutal assault by opponents of integration.

In Opening Day, Jonathan Eig tells the true story behind the national pastime's most sacred myth. Along the way he offers new insights into events of sixty years ago and punctures some familiar legends. Was it true that the St. Louis Cardinals plotted to boycott their first home game against the Brooklyn Dodgers? Was Pee Wee Reese really Robinson's closest ally on the team? Was Dixie Walker his greatest foe? How did Robinson handle the extraordinary stress of being the only black man in baseball and still manage to perform so well on the field? Opening Day is also the story of a team of underdogs that came together against tremendous odds to capture the pennant. Facing the powerful New York Yankees, Robinson and the Dodgers battled to the seventh game in one of the most thrilling World Series competitions of all time.

Drawing on interviews with surviving players, sportswriters, and eyewitnesses, as well as newly discovered material from archives around the country, Jonathan Eig presents a fresh portrait of a ferocious competitor who embodied integration's promise and helped launch the modern civil rights era. Full of new details and thrilling action, Opening Day brings to life baseball's ultimate story.

"Allen gives this chronicle...a measured and dignified
reading, conveying both the excitement of the on-field action and the tense drama of Robinson's journey into the previously all-white world of pro baseball." ---Booklist

"Well crafted writing...is brought to life by Richard Allen. The writer is up to the subject matter, and the narrator is up to the writing, a confluence of topic and talent that makes for all-around great listening." ---AudioFile
Washington Post Bestseller

Opening Day

The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season

Author Jonathan Eig

Narrated by Richard Allen

Publication date Apr 17, 2007

Running time 12 hrs

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