Billy Williams signs Jackie Robinson Envelope - AutographsInv# AU1688 Autograph
Jackie Robinson FDC signed by Billy Williams. Measures 6 1/2" x 3 3/4".
Jack Roosevelt Robinson (January 31, 1919 – October 24, 1972) was an American professional baseball player who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when he started at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. When the Dodgers signed Robinson, it heralded the end of racial segregation in professional baseball that had relegated black players to the Negro leagues since the 1880s. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
During his 10-year MLB career, Robinson won the inaugural Rookie of the Year Award in 1947, was an All-Star for six consecutive seasons from 1949 through 1954, and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949—the first black player so honored. Robinson played in six World Series and contributed to the Dodgers' 1955 World Series championship.
In 1997, MLB retired his uniform number 42 across all major league teams; he was the first professional athlete in any sport to be so honored. MLB also adopted a new annual tradition, "Jackie Robinson Day", for the first time on April 15, 2004, on which every player on every team wears No. 42.
Robinson's character, his use of nonviolence, and his talent challenged the traditional basis of segregation that had then marked many other aspects of American life. He influenced the culture of and contributed significantly to the civil rights movement. Robinson also was the first black television analyst in MLB and the first black vice president of a major American corporation, Chock full o'Nuts. In the 1960s, he helped establish the Freedom National Bank, an African-American-owned financial institution based in Harlem, New York. After his death in 1972, Robinson was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom in recognition of his achievements on and off the field.
Billy Leo Williams (born June 15, 1938) is an American former professional baseball left fielder who played 16 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Chicago Cubs and two seasons for the Oakland Athletics. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1987. In 1999, Williams was named a finalist for the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.
Williams was the 1961 National League (NL) Rookie of the Year and was a six-time NL All-Star. In 1970, he had a .322 batting average with 42 home runs and 129 runs batted in (RBI), led the NL with 205 hits, and was the NL Most Valuable Player (MVP) runner-up. In 1972, Williams won the NL batting title while hitting .333. He hit more than 400 career home runs, including 30 or more in five seasons. Williams also hit above .300 in five seasons and had over 100 RBI in three seasons.
Williams was a highly competitive player on Cubs teams that never reached the postseason. When he finally played in the postseason during the second-to-last year of his career with the Athletics, the A's did not get to the World Series. In 1999, he was selected as a member of the Cubs All-Century Team.