Illustration by Abigail LeForge.

This week in sports history

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April 14, 1941 – Baseball legend and pariah Pete Rose is born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rose has the most hits of all time in Major League Baseball history, but is more well known for his involvement with gambling on baseball games. Rose was given a lifetime ban from baseball after a scandal focused on his habit of betting on games broke out in the late 1980s. He agreed to be declared permanently ineligible from the sport in 1989.

April 15, 1947 – Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American to play in a MLB game in the modern-era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base on April 15, 1947. When the Dodgers signed Robinson, they paved the way to the end of racial segregation in professional baseball that had consigned black players to the “Negro leagues” since the 1880s.

April 17, 1820 – Alexander “Alick” Cartwright, who is recognized as the inventor of modern baseball, is born in New York, New York. Although he was inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame and referred to as the “father of baseball,” his role as developer of the game has been disputed by many skeptics. After the myth of Abner Doubleday having invented baseball in Cooperstown in 1839 was debunked, Cartwright was inducted into the Hall of Fame as a pioneering contributor 46 years after his death.

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