“America's pastime” provides more than just an opportunity to devour hot dogs and Cracker Jacks. Trips to the ballpark are cemented in many Americans' memories, but the game of baseball has also periodically acted as a time capsule of the past century.
In the 1940s, Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier in a monumental moment in U.S. civil rights. Later, Robinson's Brooklyn Dodgers headed out West, just like thousands of other Americans.
In the 21st century, as technology became part of everyday lives, the influence of new inventions infiltrated baseball diamonds. Baseball has always been a sort of breeding ground for science, whether it be an invention like AstroTurf, or in showing the darker sides of performance-enhancing drugs.
For many, baseball represents a certain nostalgia. New Yorkers coming of age in the 1950s can still hear the crack of the bat from Bobby Thomson's historic home run. Those same New Yorkers, a few years later, might also remember the sting of when the beloved New York Giants left town for San Francisco. Baseball has also proven to be inspirational to many, like the children in the Dominican Republic who listened to the radio or saw newspaper clips of Juan Marichal's dominance, inspiring them to pursue their own versions of the American dream.
Stacker compiled key moments from Major League Baseball's (MLB) history over the past 100 years. Using a variety sources from MLB record books, the Baseball Hall of Fame, and audio and video from events, Stacker has listed the iconic moments that shaped a sport and a nation. Read through to find out what happened in MLB history the year you were born.