Is Jackie Robinson overrated? | The Tylt
June 19 marks the first time baseball was reportedly played, and in honor of that historic day, we debate some of the biggest questions in baseball—like is Jackie Robinson an overrated baseball player? Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, and his numerous accolades in the face of persistent racism should never be understated. However, his numbers amount to an average career. What do you think? ⚾
Is Jackie Robinson overrated?
Overrated? Can being the first Black player ever in MLB ever be overrated? He may not have eye-popping numbers, but he accomplished a lot at the plate and in the field while being spit on and taunted. Robinson finished his 10-year career with six All-Star appearances, one MVP award, one batting title and a World Series championship.
People like to point out the lack of gaudy numbers from Robinson, but they fail to remember he entered the league at age 28, and played in the Negro Leagues before. Had he been allowed to play in MLB from the beginning, he may have put up huge numbers.
His numbers might not be great, but his impact will always shield him from being overrated.
Let’s get this out of the way: Jackie Robinson should be in the Hall of Fame because he broke the color barrier. However, that doesn’t make him immune to criticism for his play on the baseball field. Judging from his numbers, he was a good player—not a great one.
If he didn’t break the color barrier, Robinson may not have been a Hall of Fame player. He finished his career with 1,518 career hits, 137 home runs and a respectable .311 batting average. That's respectable, but pales in comparison to other players in the Hall of Fame.
His Negro League percentages were great, but he played only one year and he was a 26-year-old rookie. There is no denying his impact as a pioneer, but as a baseball player, his resume doesn’t measure up to other Hall of Famers.