Baseball and Jackie Robinson

Letter from Jackie Robinson to Branch Rickey, [1950].

(Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Branch Rickey Papers.)

Letter from Jackie Robinson to Branch Rickey
enlarge image icon (Reproduced with permission from Rachel Robinson.)

Mr. Branch Rickey
c/o Pittsburgh B.B. Club
Pittsburg, Pa.

Dear Mr. Rickey,

I have been intending to write for about a month now and it seems that finding the right words come hard so I will attempt at this time to put them down.

It is certainly tough on everyone in Brooklyn to have you leave the organization but to me its much worse and I don't mind saying we (my family) hate to see you go but realize that baseball is like that and anything can happen. It has been the finest experience I have had being associated with you and I want to thank you very much for all you have meant not only to me and my family but to the entire country and particularly the members of our race. I am glad for your sake that I had a small part to do with the success of your efforts and must admit it was your constant guidance that enabled me to do it. Regardless of what happens to me in the future it all can be placed on what you have done and believe me I appreciate it.

I don't know the circumstances that caused you to sell but I am smart enough to know that a person does not sell a growing thing unless there is some misunderstanding some place but I do want to wish you and your family the very best of everything and sincerely hope that you are able to bring to Pittsburg just what you did to Brooklyn and St. Louis. I hope to end my playing in Brooklyn as it means so very much but if I have to go any place I hope it can be with you.

My wife joins me in saying thanks very much Mr. Rickey and we sincerely hope that we can always be regarded as your friend and whenever we need advice we can call on you as usual regardless of where we may be.

My very best wishes to you and yours and a hope for your continued success.

Sincerely yours,

Jackie Robinson