42 Best Stats From Jackie Robinson’s MLB Career

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Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers' first baseman, is shown at Ebbets Field, April 11, 1947.
(AP Photo)
Rachael Millanta @rachaelmillanta Apr 11, 2023, 4:01 PM
  • Jackie Robinson played Major League Baseball from 1947 to 1956.
  • In 1997, MLB retired his No. 42 uniform for all teams.
  • Jackie Robinson Day is April 15 every year.

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the Major League Baseball color barrier when he took the field with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Having reshaped baseball forever, Robinson’s number, 42, is the only number retired MLB-wide, and every year on April 15, all players from all teams wear 42 to commemorate the day he made his major league debut.

In honor of Jackie Robinson Day, here are the best stats from Robinson’s career.

42 Jackie Robinson Stats

28 Years Old at MLB Debut

On April 15, 1947, Robinson made his major league debut at the age of 28. For reference, the average rookie today is around 22 years old, and the average age of all active players across MLB is 27.

21-Game Hit Streak

In his rookie year, Robinson recorded the longest hit streak of his career, hitting safely in 21 consecutive games in 1947. At the time it was the fourth-longest hitting streak in Dodgers’ history — and it remains the 17th-longest streak in franchise history.

36 Strikeouts in 1947

Robinson had 701 plate appearances as a rookie, fifth-most in baseball, but had only 36 strikeouts, 83rd-most. He averaged one strikeout in every 19.5 PAs that season.

28 Sacrifice Hits

Robinson led the NL in sacrifice hits (28) as a rookie. No other player had more than 18.

125 Runs in 1947

In 1947, Robinson scored 125 runs during the regular season, second-most in the NL.

Reverse Cycle

As of April 2023, there have been 339 cycles in MLB history. Only six of those are reverse cycles, i.e., in order of home run, triple, double, and single. Robinson has one of the six reverse cycles, having accomplished the feat on Aug. 29, 1948, in his 295th career game.

291 Strikeouts in 5,802 Plate Appearances

In his 10-year MLB career, Robinson struck out just 291 in 5,802 plate appearances. He averaged one strikeout in every 19.9 PAs, a strikeout rate of approximately 5%.

40 Strikeouts in a Season

Robinson never struck out more than 40 times in a season and never had a strikeout rate higher than 7.4%.

203 Hits in 1949

In 1949, Robinson recorded 203 hits to tie with Dale Mitchell for the second-most in the National League, only behind Stan Musial (207).

19 Steals of Home

Robinson stole home plate 19 times during his career, including once in the 1955 World Series. His first steal of home was on June 24, 1947, at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh.

6 Career All-Star Selections

During his 10-year MLB career, Robinson made six All-Star teams (1949-1954). He was also an All-Star in the Negro Leagues in 1945.

1 NL MVP Award Win

Robinson won NL MVP in 1949. He’s one of only five second basemen to win NL MVP in 92 years of the award’s existence

740 Career Walks

Robinson walked 740 times during his career, 449 more times than he struck out (291). He posted a walk rate of 13% in his 5,802 plate appearances.

7 Consecutive Top-15 MVP Votes

Robinson finished in the top 15 of NL MVP voting in seven consecutive seasons (1947-53), though he only won once (1949).

2-Time NL Stolen Base Leader

Robinson was the National League stolen base leader in both 1947 (29) and 1949 (37). He was third in the NL in stolen bases in both 1951 and 1952 with 25 and 24, respectively.

197 Stolen Bases

Robinson stole 197 total bases in the majors, plus another three in the Negro American League (1945).

137 Career Home Runs

Home runs weren’t what Robinson was known for, but he still managed to go yard 137 times during his time in MLB.

30-Plus Doubles in Five Consecutive Seasons

Robinson was the first Dodger to hit at least 30 doubles in five consecutive seasons (1947-51). His record was broken by Andre Ethier, who hit over 30 doubles in seven straight seasons (2007-13).

.528 Slugging Percentage in 1949

In 1949, Robinson’s NL MVP year, he recorded a slugging percentage of .528, the third-best in the NL and highest of his career.

SBs and BA in 1949

Robinson led the NL in stolen bases (37) and batting average (.342) in 1949. He was the first player in MLB history to lead in both stats.

313 Total Bases in 1949

Robinson recorded 313 total bases in 1949, fifth-most in the NL.

19 Home Runs in 1951 and 1952

Robinson’s career record for most home runs in a single season was 19, which he posted in both 1951 and 1952.

Reached Base Twice In First Nine Games of 1952

In 1952, Robinson reached base at least twice in each of the first nine games of the season. It was the longest in Dodgers’ history until Adrián Gonzalez broke the record in 2015.

14 HBPs in 1952

Robinson was hit by 14 pitches in 1952, the second most of any batter in the NL that season, and the most of any single season in his career.

NL WAR Leader

Robinson (retroactively) led NL position players in wins above replacement (WAR) three times: 1949, 1951, and 1952.

.311 Career Batting Average

In 4,877 at-bats in 1,382 games, Robinson posted a career batting average of .311, currently 77th in MLB history.

.342 BA at Forbes Field, Pittsburgh

Robinson’s highest ballpark batting average came at Forbes Field. He batted a .342 average at the Pittsburgh Pirates’ former home, which was substantially higher than his .313 career average.

.410 Career On-Base Percentage

Robinson retired after the 1956 season with a career on-base percentage of .410. As of April 2023, only two active MLB players have a higher career OBP: Joey Votto (.412) and Mike Trout (.415).

51% of At Bats in Clean Up

Approximately 51% of Robinson’s at-bats came as the No. 4 hitter (2,483 ABs). As the clean-up hitter, he batted .329 with an on-base percentage of .426.

734 Career RBI

During his 10-season MLB career, Robinson had 734 career RBIs. His best year was 1949, when he posted 124 RBIs, second-most in the NL.

.350 OBP vs. Warren Spahn

Robinson was one of only 18 hitters to have a career on-base percentage of at least .350 (min. 100 plate appearances) against 17-time All-Star and first-ballot Hall of Famer Warren Spahn.

SBs at Ebbets Field

Only 10 times did one player have at least 15 stolen bases at Ebbets Field — home of the Dodgers from 1913-57 — in one season. Robinson owns three of those instances. He’s the only player to do it more than two times.

203 Hits, 124 RBI, 86 BB, 37 SB

In 1949, Robinson’s third year in MLB and only MVP season, he posted 203 hits, 124 RBIs, 86 walks, and 37 stolen bases. As of 2023, it remains the only time in MLB history a player has recorded at least 200 hits, 120 RBIs, 80 walks and 30 steals in a season.

3 Seasons With At Least 10 HR, 10 SB, 70 BB, and Less Than 30 K

Robinson is the only player in MLB history with at least 10 home runs, 10 stolen bases, 70 walks, and fewer than 30 strikeouts in three separate seasons, having done so in 1949, 1950, and 1951.

.346 June Career BA

Robinson had a batting average of .346 the month of June. As of 2023, this is still the highest June batting average for any MLB player with at least 500 plate appearances.

61.7 Career WAR

Robinson produced 61.7 WAR during his career. The only player with more WAR during his 10-year MLB career (1947-56) was Stan Musial (74.8).

3,000 PA With .300 BA and .400 OBP

Robinson was one of only five players during the 1950s who had at least 3,000 plate appearances with a batting average of .300 and on-base percentage of .400. The other four were Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, and Minnie Miñoso.

Rookie of the Year, MVP, 6 All-Star Teams, OBP .400

Robinson was the first — and one of only two players in MLB history — to win Rookie of the Year and MVP, make six All-Star teams, and record a career OBP over .400. The only other player to achieve all four feats is Mike Trout.

Oldest Player to Hit Postseason Walk-Off

At the age of 37, Robinson became the oldest player in MLB postseason history to record a walk-off hit to stave off elimination. His walk-off single to left in the bottom of the 10th inning won Game 6 of the 1956 World Series for the Dodgers.

Go-Ahead Hit in World Series 9th Inning or Later

Robinson is one of only five Dodgers to record a go-ahead hit in the ninth inning or later in a World Series game. The other four are Cody Bellinger, Kirk Gibson, Duke Snider, and Cookie Lavagetto.

6 Extra-Inning Home Runs

In his MLB career, Robinson hit six home runs during extra innings. Matt Kemp, Eric Karros, and Carl Furillo are the only other Dodgers to have done the same.

6 NL Pennants

The Dodgers won the NL pennant six times during Robinson’s 10-year span with the team.

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About the Author

Rachael Millanta

Read More @rachaelmillanta

Rachael Millanta is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM focusing on Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Her work has been published in SB Nation, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Slackjaw Humor. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Rachael now resides in Chicago, Illinois.

Rachael Millanta is a Web Content Writer for BetMGM focusing on Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Her work has been published in SB Nation, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, and Slackjaw Humor. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Rachael now resides in Chicago, Illinois.