On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play in a Major League baseball game. Over the next ten years, he would win numerous awards: Rookie of the Year, National League Most Valuable Player, World Series champion, National League batting champion, two-time stolen base leader, and six-time All-Star.
But it was this day in history that his family will forever cherish. On July 2, 1962, Jackie Robinson was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility, on the first ballot.
Robinson died at the young age of 53. He is buried near his son and mother-in-law. But it is what is written on his tomb that I find most interesting. One of his personal quotes immortalizes his life, even in death. Written on this tombstone are these words: “Life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
I think men go through three stages in life – at least they should. In phase one, they are consumed with success. In phase two, beginning around age 40, they focus on significance. Their final stage is a focus on legacy.
Jackie Robinson was a great baseball player. But more than that, he was a great man. The world is a better place because of Jackie Robinson.
What will be your legacy? How is the world made different because of you?