Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season by Jonathan Eig

Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season

Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season by Jonathan Eig is a comprehensive look at the 1947 season when Jackie Robinson became the first black player to play Major League Baseball. It was a very important moment in baseball history and ultimately changed baseball forever.

Author Jonathan Eig conducted interviews with surviving players, sportswriters, and eyewitnesses. He also managed to find newly discovered material from archives around the country to help with this unique portrait of the man who broke the color barrier.

Opening Day uses these sources to answer many questions and popular legends from this season such as the story of the Cardinals threatening to boycott their own home game, Jackie’s relationship with Pee Wee Reese, and Robinson’s feud with Dixie Walker. The author removes a lot of the dramatic effect that many writers have taken when writing about Jackie and replaces it with verifiable facts that speak for themselves.

While Jackie’s season is considered very historically important and a great thing for the game and the world, it was not viewed this way at the time. Robinson’s first season was filled with taunting and provocation from fans and opposing teams alike. Jackie’s story is one of perseverance as even with all of the distractions going on around him, Robinson put together an outstanding first season and ultimately lead his team to the World Series.

This book is not only the story of Jackie and this incredible season, but a story about America in 1947 when many Americans were forced to examine their prejudices by a man playing baseball.

Jonathan Eig Sports Books

Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season (2007) Shop at Amazon
Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig (2010) Shop at Amazon
Ali: A Life (2017) Shop at Amazon

Jonathan Eig Non-Fiction Books

Get Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America's Most Wanted Gangter (2010) Shop at Amazon
The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinvented Sex and Launched a Revolution (2015) Shop at Amazon

Jackie Robinson Career

  • 1947 National League Rookie of the Year
  • 1949 National League MVP
  • 6x All-Star selection
  • 1949 Batting Champion (.349)
  • 197 Career Stolen Bases
  • 1955 World Series Champion
  • Baseball Hall of Fame (1962)
  • #42 retired in all of MLB

About the Author

Jonathan Eig is a well-established writer with a resume that includes the Wall Street Journal and New York Times in his career. He is the author of multiple sports books books including Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig and the expertly researched, Ali: A Life.

Other Books You May Like

I Never Had It Made: An Autobiography by Jackie Robinson: For more about Jackie Robinson, you have to go with the man’s own autobiography. The book was released on the year of his death and covers his entire life from before and after baseball.

Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues & the Story of African-American Baseball by Lawrence D. Hogan: The Negro Leagues are a fascinating and important part of baseball history and this book offers a comprehensive history of the league. Players like Josh Gibson and Martin Dihigo were some of the best players of their era, but never got the same opportunity that Jackie got.

Opening Day Podcasts

Black History is American History – Jackie Robinson: An excellent conversation about just how important Jackie Robinson was historically in baseball and beyond.

WNET Up Next: Filmmaker Ken Burns on Jackie Robinson and More: Ken Burns is the director of a four-hour documentary on the life of Jackie Robinson that aired on PBS and he went in-depth with WNET Up Next host Tom Stewart on Jackie Robinson as well as Burns’ career.