On this day: April 15

Two historic moments occurred on this day for vastly different reasons, as legendary baseballer Jackie Robinson made his debut and 96 football fans lost their lives.

Jackie Robinson makes MLB debut in 1947


Robinson made history in 1947 when he became the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) after the Brooklyn Dodgers handed him a debut on first base.

His inclusion effectively ended racial segregation in American baseball, as black players had been restricted to plying their trade in the Negro leagues since the 1880s.

Robinson enjoyed a successful 10-year-career in the MLB, which included him winning inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award, the MLB MVP and a World Series title.

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

Ninety-six fans die in Hillsborough disaster 1989


Ninety-six football fans lost their lives when parts of the Hillsborough stadium collapsed during a FA Cup tie between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

The cause of what remains the worst stadium-related disaster in English sports history, was open to dispute for many years afterwards. In an official inquiry into the disaster, the failure of police to control the crowd was listed as the main reason, while the decrepit nature of large parts of the stadium contributed significantly.

The findings of the Taylor report resulted in the elimination of standing terraces at all major football stadiums in Britain.

In 2012, a new inquest was granted in the High Court to evaluate some aspects of the Taylor report.

Sporting birthdays

1845: Dave Gregory, cricketer (Australia’s 1st Test captain)
1875: James J. Jeffries, American heavyweight boxer
1957: Evelyn Ashford, Amemrican sprinter
1975: Paul Dana, American race car driver (d. 2006)
1982: Albert Riera, Spanish footballer