May 13, 1947: Jackie Robinson plays his first game in Cincinnati, four weeks after becoming the first African-American to play in the big leagues in the modern era. Robinson had a single in 4 ABs in the Reds 7-5 win over the ’47 NL Champion Dodgers before a crowd of 27,164.

African-American baseball fans from all over the South came to Crosley Field when the Dodgers were in town to watch Robinson, and later Roy Campenella and Don Newcombe, throughout the late 1940s and early 1950s. Many took special trains to Union Terminal, a few blocks from Crosley Field. Reds players often faced crowds where the majority was rooting for the opposition. From 1947 to 1954, the Reds had a 23-65 record against the Dodgers at Crosley Field. Between June 22, 1947 and May 22, 1949 the Dodgers won 19 games in a row in Cincinnati.

All “Reds trivia” posts come from Greg Rhodes and John Snyder’s fabulous book, “Redleg Journal” (see link for purchasing) and are used with Greg’s permission.

Thanks again to Greg Rhodes for permission to use his material.