According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, despite his successes with the St. Louis Cardinals,
… it was Rickey’s steadfast opposition to baseball’s color barrier that would forever identify him as one of the game’s great pioneers.
He signed Negro league star Jackie Robinson to a minor league contract in 1945, and paved the way for Robinson’s major league debut on April 15, 1947.
Anticipating the harsh treatment that Robinson would receive from fans and opposing players, Rickey told Robinson he was looking for a man who “had guts enough not to fight back.”
Robinson followed Rickey’s advice with remarkable restraint. Amidst racial slurs, objects thrown at him from the crowd and even death threats, Robinson quietly exceled on the diamond and went on to win National League Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player Awards during his career.
“I realized how much our relationship had deepened after I left baseball,” Robinson later said of Rickey. “Branch, especially after I was no longer in the sports spotlight, treated me like a son.” 
Jackie Robinson starred with the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1947 and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, and Rickey was elected posthumously to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967.
Today, Robinson’s 1947 debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers remains a defining moment not only in terms of breaking baseball’s color barrier but also as a pivotal point in the history of the U.S. civil rights movement.
Prepare a 4–5-minute presentation that includes a summary of Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson’s accomplishments, specific types of civic engagement mentioned in the handout, and the impact of the breaking of the color barrier in Major League Baseball on democracy in the United States.
Also, share your thoughts on whether you think Branch Rickey and/or two other civically engaged Americans of your choosing should be included in all U.S. high school history textbooks.
color barrier—also known as the color line in U.S. baseball, which excluded African-American players from Major League Baseball and its affiliated minor leagues until 1947
 “Branch Rickey,” National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, https://baseballhall.org/hall-of-famers/rickey-branch [26 June 2018]
Steven Marcus, “Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey: Together in History,” Newsday, 25 February 2017, https://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/jackie-robinson-and-branch-rickey-together-in-history-1.13174735 [26 June 2018].