Article originally published on mlb.com
WASHINGTON — Sharon Robinson had some eye-opening experiences Thursday. The daughter of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson went to the Library of Congress and then took a tour of the Nationals Youth Baseball Academy.
Going to the Library of Congress was the first order of business for Robinson, as her father’s memorabilia and letters were on display.
There was a letter Jackie Robinson wrote to former club president and general manager Branch Rickey around 1950, expressing how wrong it was for Rickey to be pushed out of the Dodgers organization. The letter also indicated that Robinson expected to be out the door himself. He ended up being traded to the New York Giants six years later, but Robinson, who broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947, never played for New York. He retired instead.
Rickey responded by telling Robinson that he had the ability to work in the front office or become an on-field coach.
“My father hoped he would have the opportunity [to work in baseball], but he was never given that opportunity,” Sharon Robinson said. “Believe me, he had a very interesting post-baseball life, which was good for my dad. He [worked] for Chock Full o’Nuts. He worked in the Civil Rights movement, marching in support of the crisis that happened in the deep South. That made his life all the more important to him. It worked out. He didn’t need to go into coaching. He did just what he did.”
Sharon Robinson then was off to the Academy, and she was impressed with what she saw. Robinson, who is an educational programming consultant with Major League Baseball, learned the academy is a year-round educational and athletic facility designed to provide quality after-school and summer learning programs for boys and girls in Washington neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River.