MLB history: The 10 best games of Jackie Robinson’s career

MILWAUKEE - 1954. Jackie Robinson slides safely home, as Milwaukee Braves catcher Charley White misses the tag, during a 1954 contest at Brooklyn's Ebbets Field. (Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE - 1954. Jackie Robinson slides safely home, as Milwaukee Braves catcher Charley White misses the tag, during a 1954 contest at Brooklyn's Ebbets Field. (Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images) /
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BROOKLYN, NY – SEPTEMBER 16, 1955: Members of the Brooklyn Dodgers poses for a portrait prior to a game on September 16, 1955 at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York. Pictured are: Front row, (L to R): George Shuba, Don Zimmer, Joe Becker, Jake Pitler (Coach), Walt Alston (Manager), Billy Herman (Coach), Pee Wee Reese, Dixie Howell, Sandy Amoros and Roy Campanella. Second row, (L to R): John Griffin (club houseman), Carl Erskine, Sandy Koufax, Lee Scott (Road Secretary), Roger Craig, Don Newcombe, Karl Spooner, Don Hoak, Carl Furillo, Frank Kellert and Doc Wendler (trainer). Third row, (L to R): Russ Meyer, Jim Gilliam, Billy Loes, Clem Labine, Gil Hodges, Ed Roebuck, Don Bessent, Duke Snider, John Podres, Al Rube Walker and Jackie Robinson. Batboy Charlie Digiovanni is in front. (Photo by: Kidwiler Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, NY – SEPTEMBER 16, 1955: Members of the Brooklyn Dodgers poses for a portrait prior to a game on September 16, 1955 at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York. Pictured are: Front row, (L to R): George Shuba, Don Zimmer, Joe Becker, Jake Pitler (Coach), Walt Alston (Manager), Billy Herman (Coach), Pee Wee Reese, Dixie Howell, Sandy Amoros and Roy Campanella. Second row, (L to R): John Griffin (club houseman), Carl Erskine, Sandy Koufax, Lee Scott (Road Secretary), Roger Craig, Don Newcombe, Karl Spooner, Don Hoak, Carl Furillo, Frank Kellert and Doc Wendler (trainer). Third row, (L to R): Russ Meyer, Jim Gilliam, Billy Loes, Clem Labine, Gil Hodges, Ed Roebuck, Don Bessent, Duke Snider, John Podres, Al Rube Walker and Jackie Robinson. Batboy Charlie Digiovanni is in front. (Photo by: Kidwiler Collection/Diamond Images/Getty Images) /

4. June 6, 1955, Dodgers 5, Cardinals 4. Robinson was a non-factor in a game St. Louis led 4-3 entering the bottom of the ninth. Then he struck decisively.

Cardinal reliever Luis Arroyo made the mistake of walking Gil Hodges to start the ninth, bringing Robinson (as the potential winning run) to the plate. Potential became reality when Jackie crushed Arroyo’s second pitch into the deep center field seats for a game-winner. Robinson Win Probability Added: 0.525.

3. July 4, 1951, Dodgers 6, Giants 5. In the opener of a holiday double-header, Robinson was hitless and his team trailed 3-2 entering the bottom of the ninth. Against Sal Maglie, he opens the inning with a base hit, advancing to second on a walk and scoring on Gil Hodges’ single.

After neither team scored in the 10th, Bobby Thomson opened the 10th with a home run off Preacher Roe to give New York a lead. But in the bottom half, Robinson’s base hit scored Duke Snider, who had doubled. Robinson took second on the throw home, but with one out was picked off second, beating the play at third thanks to Wes Westrum’s bad throw.

With Roe up, the Dodgers opted for a suicide squeeze and it worked, Robinson beating the throw home to score the winning run. Robinson Win Probability Added: 0.553.

2. Aug. 4, 1954, Dodgers 8, Cardinals 7. Robinson singled in the third and scored on Carl Furillo’s home run. But his team still trailed 7-6 entering the bottom of the ninth at Ebbets Field.

Then Cardinal reliever Tom Poholsky walked Jim Gilliam. Pee Wee Reese flied out harmlessly, but Robinson blasted Poholsky’s second pitch into the left field seats for a game-winning home run. Robinson Win Probability Added: 0.715.

1. Aug. 22, 1951, Dodgers 8, Cardinals 7. Robinson’s second inning bunt single led to nothing, but he was just getting started. He singled in the fourth and scored on Andy Pafko’s base hit. His sixth inning single scored Pee Wee Reese, although the Dodgers still trailed 7-4.

But that only set the stage for a three-run game-tying ninth inning rally that featured Robinson’s double, scoring Carl Furillo and moving the tying run to third, where Roy Campanella’s hit drove it in.

Finally with two out and two on, Robinson’s fifth hit of the night drove in Clyde King with the walk-off winner. Robinson Win Probability Added: 0.786.