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Download Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinsons First Season, by Jonathan Eig Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (404 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jonathan Eig Narrator: Richard Allen Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2007 ISBN: 9781400174348
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April 15, 1947, marked the most important opening day in baseball history. When Jackie Robinson stepped onto the diamond that afternoon at Ebbets Field, he became the first black man to break into major-league baseball in the twentieth century. World War II had just ended. Democracy had triumphed. Now Americans were beginning to press for justice on the home front-and Robinson had a chance to lead the way. He was an unlikely hero. He had little experience in organized baseball. His swing was far from graceful. And he was assigned to play first base, a position he had never tried before that season. But the biggest concern was his temper. Robinson was an angry man who played an aggressive style of ball. In order to succeed he would have to control himself in the face of what promised to be a brutal assault by opponents of integration. In Opening Day, Jonathan Eig tells the true story behind the national pastime's most sacred myth. Along the way he offers new insights into events of sixty years ago and punctures some familiar legends. Was it true that the St. Louis Cardinals plotted to boycott their first home game against the Brooklyn Dodgers? Was Pee Wee Reese really Robinson's closest ally on the team? Was Dixie Walker his greatest foe? How did Robinson handle the extraordinary stress of being the only black man in baseball and still manage to perform so well on the field? Opening Day is also the story of a team of underdogs that came together against tremendous odds to capture the pennant. Facing the powerful New York Yankees, Robinson and the Dodgers battled to the seventh game in one of the most thrilling World Series competitions of all time. Drawing on interviews with surviving players, sportswriters, and eyewitnesses, as well as newly discovered material from archives around the country, Jonathan Eig presents a fresh portrait of a ferocious competitor who embodied integration's promise and helped launch the modern civil rights era. Full of new details and thrilling action, Opening Day brings to life baseball's ultimate story. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Allen gives this chronicle…a measured and dignified reading, conveying both the excitement of the on-field action and the tense drama of Robinson’s journey into the previously all-white world of pro baseball.”

    Booklist

  • Allen gives this chronicle...a measured and dignifiedreading, conveying both the excitement of the on-field action and the tense drama of Robinson's journey into the previously all-white world of pro baseball. Booklist
  • “A wonderful book that provided insights about Lou, his amazing life, and outstanding career.”

    Cal Ripkin Jr. on Luckiest Man

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeff | 2/18/2014

    " Not nearly as good as Eig's book on Lou Gehrig, but still OK. Relied too much on newspaper clippings from 1947, piecing them together without really getting into the heart of the story. Spent a lot of time debunking Robinson myths, claiming that according to newspaper reports, certain things never happened. Further research would have shown that some events, such as Pee Wee Reese putting his arm on Robinson's shoulder, happened in later years, and that some events that were recalled in later years by participants may not have been deemed significant enough to warrant inclusion in the news of the day. All in all, a decent book, but I would read Jules Tygiel's book if I wanted a true sense of the Robinson story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chum | 2/10/2014

    " A friend wrote this book on Jackie Robinson and there is a lot of interesting material in it on race relations at the time. I know very little about baseball history and I found this book enlightening on that topic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 2/7/2014

    " It's hard to imagine any athlete having to perform under more pressure than Jackie Robinson performed under during his first season in the major leagues. Not only was he playing for his spot on his team, but for any spot on any team that a black man might be considered for in the future. He had to prove that black man could perform under the scrutiny of the major leagues. And, as Eig recounts in Opening Day, he did so with flying colors. He didn't just maintain his spot in the daily lineup, he thrived, and became one of the best players in the history of the game. The book gives brief chapters on Robinson's upbringing and his later career and life, but the bulk of the book focuses, as the subtitle suggests, on his first season in the majors. Such a narrow focus adds a very baseball-like dimension to this story. The baseball season is long and it ebbs and flows with streaks of greatness interspersed with streaks of failure. Robinson went through all of that during his first season, and since Eig decided to dedicate this entire book to his first season, the reader gets to go through it with him. We cheer him on as he's batting over .400 and we worry with him when he hasn't been hitting for the past ten games. Eig also does a wonderful job of placing Robinson's first season in the context of its time and showing what it meant to him, to other players on his team and in his league, to others of his race, and to the country as a whole. This is a very accessible, objectively written, book on one of the greatest accomplishments in the history of sports--which is not that a black man played in the major leagues, but that a man thrived in the major leagues while he was reminded every day that he was different and unwanted by some. And that he did so with such grace is a testament to his moral courage. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kerin Soares | 2/5/2014

    " This is a great book. It is an insight into Jackie Robinson's courage, fighting against the racism in the country at the time he broke the color line is professional baseball. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Corton | 1/27/2014

    " Very good - author did lots of research and interviewed Jackie Robinons's wife and some friends to write this story. I liked it a lot since it combined baseball with social justice. I felt the author gave you detailed descriptions of characters and events so you could know the characters involved in the story and feel you were there at the event in the time and place. I would say you 'd have to like baseball - lots of detail of games and plays, but he moved the story along well. He really gave you a sense of the racial issues black people dealt with at that time - good source of our history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 1/23/2014

    " If you thought you knew what it was like for Jackie Robinson to break the color barrier in baseball in '47, think again. And read this book to find out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Greg | 1/21/2014

    " A solid and honest account of Jackie Robinson's first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The book was a little disjointed in the middle but finished strong. Robinson was a standoffish person and hard to warm to, but you cannot help but admire his courage in all that he endured that season of 1947. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Glenn | 1/19/2014

    " I enjoyed the book. It was well written, but didn't really go deep into the subject. I did learn a few things about Jackie Robinson and m ready for the new movie "42" next month! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert Morrow | 1/19/2014

    " A fine book on the unbelievable obstacles Jackie Robinson had to overcome to break the color barrier in baseball. The book drags towards the end, but I recommend it as a way of developing an appreciation for pure human courage. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 1/3/2014

    " An excellent baseball book. Enjoy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leonora | 12/22/2013

    " 3 1/2 stars -- Enjoyable read, just falls a little short. Debunks a lot of the apocryphal stories about Jackie but I think it winds up making him look a lot stronger as a person rather than taking away from him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marc Krasner | 12/11/2013

    " Loved this book... very informative. Nice amount of backround information. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Josh | 12/10/2013

    " Wonderfully vivid and detailed without relying on folkloric storytelling. A good, quick read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennelle | 9/20/2013

    " Well written, great insights into the lives of the Robinson family. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shawn | 5/16/2013

    " A good read. Enjoyed it. Liked the little stories and tidbits from fans' recollections of the time. But I was hoping for me on the day-to-day experience of Robinson. The ending fell a little flat for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kylie | 1/15/2013

    " I actually really liked this book! I knew Robinson was a pretty cool guy, but I never realized HOW cool! :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kara | 8/6/2012

    " Many interesting points and perspectives for someone like myself who didn't grow up in the era. Dragged a little at points but I am still glad I read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marikka | 6/10/2012

    " I go with a 3.5. There's a point where it incorporates more baseball statistics than the social history and commentary in the beginning. If not for the statistics and discussions of singles, doubles, and triples, I would say it was more a 4 than 3.5. But I enjoyed it far more than I expected. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Geoff | 4/24/2012

    " Adequate, but not breathtaking story of Robinson's integration of the national league. Focuses a lot on cutting through the fog of myth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Moose | 4/17/2012

    " My former student's Dad wrote this. It's very good for both baseball buffs and History lovers. It's also just a wonderful example of a great American Story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 1/20/2012

    " This book has great detail to it. giving the background to more than just Jackie's story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert | 1/30/2011

    " A fine book on the unbelievable obstacles Jackie Robinson had to overcome to break the color barrier in baseball. The book drags towards the end, but I recommend it as a way of developing an appreciation for pure human courage. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rnugent | 11/22/2010

    " Very easy to read and honest. This book does a great job of providing context Robinson's place in baseball. He was an interesting person and he was definitely the right person, in the right place at the right time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 11/8/2010

    " This book has great detail to it. giving the background to more than just Jackie's story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shawn | 7/20/2010

    " A good read. Enjoyed it. Liked the little stories and tidbits from fans' recollections of the time. But I was hoping for me on the day-to-day experience of Robinson. The ending fell a little flat for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marikka | 6/11/2010

    " I go with a 3.5. There's a point where it incorporates more baseball statistics than the social history and commentary in the beginning. If not for the statistics and discussions of singles, doubles, and triples, I would say it was more a 4 than 3.5. But I enjoyed it far more than I expected. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kylie | 10/7/2009

    " I actually really liked this book! I knew Robinson was a pretty cool guy, but I never realized HOW cool! :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kerin | 9/1/2009

    " This is a great book. It is an insight into Jackie Robinson's courage, fighting against the racism in the country at the time he broke the color line is professional baseball. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Killianwalters | 5/27/2009

    " This is the bst bio I ever read and one of the most important book
    I ever read cause it talks about what black people where groing up. This is the bst book I ever read and the most important book cause it talks about black people there and what he did to help this nation and for the blacks. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bayneeta | 3/20/2009

    " Read this for a Nonfiction Readers' Advisory SIG. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 1/11/2009

    " If you thought you knew what it was like for Jackie Robinson to break the color barrier in baseball in '47, think again. And read this book to find out. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Moose | 11/2/2008

    " My former student's Dad wrote this. It's very good for both baseball buffs and History lovers. It's also just a wonderful example of a great American Story. "

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