Rangers infielder Hanser Alberto didn’t know much about Jackie Robinson’s story but the 2013 film 42.
It has quickly become Alberto’s favorite baseball film and perked his interest in the legendary Dodger who broke the color barrier in 1947.
“I loved how he had to win [over] the people and make the team happy,” Alberto said. “How he put the work in and how hard he worked to be who he was.”
The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, the Dodgers president and general manager who signed Robinson in August 1945. Robinson started for the Dodgers at first base on April 15, 1947, becoming the first African-American to play in the majors.
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Of course, the historic move came with much ugliness. Robinson dealt with death threats and racism from players, teammates and fans but was named the first rookie of the year in 1947.
Robinson’s ability to keep himself in check while constantly being affronted with hatred impressed Alberto. Eventually, Robinson became hugely popular and was one of the best players in the game.
“[I loved] the respect he got from his teammates and the players,” Alberto said.