Jackie Robinson – UCLA football star
Portrait of UCLA Bruin running back Jackie Robinson published in the Nov. 30, 1940, Los Angeles Times.
Robinson was profiled by sports writer Al Wolf before his last college football game — of course against USC:
Jackie Robinson bids ta-ta to intercollegiate football today….
Jackie started his pigskin pyrotechnics at Muir Tech in Pasadena, then rocked to prominence as a member of the Pasadena J.C. eleven, where he broke all the records in the book during his two-year term.
Transferring last fall to U.C.L.A., Robinson became the Bruins’ man-in-motion–and his motion quickly made him the Coast’s most feared back and one of the outstanding football figures in the nation. His long, breakaway runs, his pass catching and his hidden-ball tricks as a decoy, combined with the all-around excellence of great Kenny Washington, boomed the Uclans to an unbeaten season.
The 1939 Bruins went 6-0-4 behind the Kenny Washington-Jackie Robinson duo. They tied USC 0-0.
But with Washington gone, the 1940 Bruins fell to a 1-9 record including a 28-12 loss to USC.
After World War II, Washington played professional football with the Los Angeles Rams from 1946-48.
Robinson switched to baseball and debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 – becoming the first African American to play in the major leagues since the 1880s.
According to this UCLA website, Robinson excelled at track, basketball and football — but not baseball. He played shortstop on the 1940 Bruins baseball team — with a .097 batting average. During his 10-year major league career, Robinson had a .311 batting average.
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