Apr 15, 2013 5:44 PM by Andrew Masuda
Major League baseball honors Jackie Robinson on Monday. 66 years ago on April 15, 1947 Robinson became the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball. But six years before he made sports history, Robinson lived and worked on the Central Coast.
In early 1941, Robinson left UCLA prior to graduation to serve as an assistant athletic director at the National Youth Administration camp in Atascadero. The NYA was started to help out of work teenagers during the Great Depression.
Robinson, then just 22 years old, was in charge of keeping the teens busy with sports and activities. He earned $150 per month.
While working in Atascadero, Robinson lived on the Cal Poly campus at Hillcrest Cottage, which has since been demolished.
Robinson lived on the Central Coast for less than a year. He moved to Hawaii in the fall of 1941.
The NYA camp was closed when World War II started and turned over to the U.S. Army as a processing center for draftees. Robinson was drafted by the U.S. Army in 1942.
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