Branch Rickey and Terre Haute, Indiana

Believe it or not, but Branch Rickey, noted president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers who signed Jackie Robinson to the team in 1945, has a connection to Terre Haute, Indiana. Yes, that Jackie Robinson, who broke the “color barrier” in major league baseball.

Back to Branch. On June 20, 1903, Branch made his professional baseball introduction at Terre Haute’s Athletic Park. He played pro ball only four years before coaching at the University of Michigan while working on his law degree. Eventually, Branch moved to the “suit side” of baseball and introduced many innovative ideas for managing the sport.

You can learn more about Branch Rickey and his influence upon baseball, by checking out this article by Vigo County Historian Mike McCormick. This article is part of the “Wabash Valley Profiles, a series of tributes to hometown heroes who have made a difference,” presented by First Financial Bank. Rickey’s tribute appeared in 1997.

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