Adoring fans clamor for an autograph from baseball legend Jackie Robinson in 1962, but Robinson faced slurs, hatred and insults in his early years in the majors. Bettman/ March 31, 2021 Did racism kill Jackie Robinson? Tamra Burns Loeb, University of California, Los Angeles; Alicia Morehead-Gee, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, and Derek Novacek, UCLA School of Medicine Major league baseball opens today, and few are likely to give race a thought. When Jackie Robinson integrated MLB in 1947, it was a far different story. Did racism lead to Robinson’s early death?