In 1947, the Dodgers called minor league player Jackie Robinson up to the major leagues six days before the start of the season. On April 15, Robinson made his major league debut at the relatively advanced age of 28 before a crowd of 26,623 spectators, more than 14,000 of whom were black. Although he failed to get a base hit, he walked and scored a run in the Dodgers’ 5-3 victory. Robinson became the first player since 1884 to openly break the major league baseball color line.
Robinson did not do it alone. Despite opposition because he was black, he received encouragement from several major league players. Lee “Jeep” Handley, who played for the Phillies at the time, was the first opposing player to wish him well. Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese once came to Robinson’s defense with the famous line, “You can hate a man for many reasons. Color is not one of them.”
Our spiritual growth is not something we do alone. We greatly benefit from the help of others. Spiritual growth calls for regular interaction with and ministry to other believers.