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ACR-197 Jackie Robinson Memorial Highway.(2015-2016)

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Assembly Concurrent Resolution No. 197

Relative to the Jackie Robinson Memorial Highway.

[ Filed with Secretary of State  September 01, 2016. ]


ACR 197, Gatto. Jackie Robinson Memorial Highway.
This measure would designate a specified portion of Interstate 210 from Gould Avenue to Orange Grove Boulevard in the County of Los Angeles as the Jackie Robinson Memorial Highway. The measure also would request the Department of Transportation to determine the cost of appropriate signs showing this special designation and, upon receiving donations from nonstate sources covering that cost, to erect those signs.
Fiscal Committee: YES  

WHEREAS, Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson was born on January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, to a family of sharecroppers. Jackie Robinson and his four brothers were raised by a single mother who in 1920 managed to move the family to Pasadena, California, and they became the first and only black family on their block; and
WHEREAS, Jackie Robinson was a natural athlete and succeeded at John Muir High School and attended Pasadena City College where he continued his athletic career by succeeding in basketball, football, baseball, and track in 1938 when he was named the region’s Most Valuable Player; and
WHEREAS, Jackie Robinson transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1939 where he became the first Bruin to letter in four sports: baseball, basketball, football, and track; and
WHEREAS, Jackie Robinson served as a second lieutenant in the United States Army from 1942 to 1944 and was arrested and court martialed during boot camp for refusing to move to the back of a bus. He was later acquitted of all charges and received an honorable discharge; and
WHEREAS, In early 1945, the Kansas City Monarchs sent him a written offer to play professional baseball in the Negro leagues. In all, Jackie Robinson played 47 games for the Monarchs, hitting .387 with five home runs and registering 13 stolen bases; and
WHEREAS, In 1946, Jackie Robinson arrived at Daytona Beach, Florida, for spring training with the all-white Montreal Royals of the Class Triple-A International League and farm team for the Brooklyn Dodgers; and
WHEREAS, On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson made his major league debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field before a crowd of 26,623 spectators, including more than 14,000 black patrons, marking the first time ever that an African American athlete played in major league baseball. Jackie Robinson faced the constant onslaught from the public and from players objecting to playing with him; and
WHEREAS, Jackie Robinson stood firm and focused on beating the critics on the field, despite the umpires who were supposed to protect all the players, including Jackie Robinson, turning a blind eye to the abuse and pitches aimed at his head that he endured, putting his life in danger; and
WHEREAS, Jackie Robinson finished the 1947 season having played in 151 games for the Dodgers with a batting average of .297, an on-base percentage of .383, and a .427 slugging percentage. He had 175 hits, scoring 125 runs, including 31 doubles, 5 triples, and 12 home runs, driving in 48 runs for the year. He led the league with 28 sacrifice hits and 29 stolen bases. His cumulative performance earned him the inaugural Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award; and
WHEREAS, Jackie Robinson retired on January 5, 1957, from professional baseball with an impressive career batting average of .311; and
WHEREAS, Jackie Robinson became a vocal champion for African American athletes, civil rights, and other social and political causes, so that, after baseball, he became active in business and continued his work as an activist for social change and served on the board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) until 1967; and
WHEREAS, Jackie Robinson was the first African American to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. In 1972, the Dodgers retired his uniform number of 42. His number, 42, is the only number to be retired by all of baseball in honor of his accomplishments, including being the first African American to break the color barrier; and
WHEREAS, Jackie Robinson died from heart problems and diabetes complications on October 24, 1972, in Stamford, Connecticut. He is survived by his wife, Rachel Isum Robinson, a nursing student whom he met at UCLA, and two of his three children, Sharon and David; his oldest child, Jackie Jr., died in an automobile accident in 1971; and
WHEREAS, Jackie Robinson’s life and legacy will be remembered as one of the most important in American history. In 1997, the world celebrated the 50th anniversary of his breaking major league baseball’s color barrier, and in doing so, honored the man who stood defiantly against those who would work against racial equality and acknowledged the profound influence of one man’s life on American culture; and
WHEREAS, Every year on the anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s historic debut, all major league baseball teams across the nation celebrate this milestone by wearing jerseys with only “42” on the back; and
WHEREAS, To this day Jackie Robinson is regarded as an inspiring example of how to combat hate and discrimination in the world; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby designates the portion of Interstate 210 from Gould Avenue to Orange Grove Boulevard in the County of Los Angeles near where Jackie Robinson grew up as the Jackie Robinson Memorial Highway; and be it further
Resolved, That the Department of Transportation is requested to determine the cost of appropriate signs consistent with the signing requirements for the state highway system showing this special designation and, upon receiving donations from nonstate sources sufficient to cover the cost, to erect those signs; and be it further
Resolved, That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies of this resolution to the Director of Transportation and to the author for appropriate distribution.