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Jackie Robinson, track star

June 26, 2008 |  4:25 am
June 26, 1938

By Keith Thursby
Times staff writer


Dropcap_i_1914_3 It might be the shortest newspaper notice in Jackie Robinson's career.

A two-paragraph item in The Times announced that Robinson, described as the "sensational all-around Pasadena Junior College athlete," would be leaving for Buffalo to compete in the AAU track and field championships the following month.

Robinson had been the recipient of a campaign to raise money for the train trip. The Times said that Charles W. Paddock, a former world-record sprinter, had started the campaign and Robinson's "school mates" had raised most of the $239. The story also mentioned that a local newspaper conducted the campaign, which must mean it was some other paper. Paddock worked at the Long Beach Press-Telegram and Pasadena Star-News, according to websites such as

Robinson also came up in a June 21 Los Angeles Angels game story. The Times reported that Robinson would participate the next night in an exhibition race as part of "Track Night" at Wrigley Field to raise money for the Buffalo track meet. The next night's story mentioned the race but not Robinson. Readers did learn, however, that one of the runners from Riverside Junior College forgot to bring his track shoes and had to borrow a pair of baseball spikes.