This story first appeared in The Sporting News dated June 2012, a special double issue with the cover headline  

“This Game We Love: 10 stories of courage, ingenuity, deceit and redemption that shaped baseball and our devotion to it.” 

In the issue, TSN, which had covered baseball since March 17, 1886, ranked the top 10 stories that shaped baseball and Jackie Robinson breaking MLB’s color barrier was No.  

Progress is measured with a calendar, not a clock. It moves slowly, maddeningly, begrudgingly, inexorably, relentlessly. And chaotically.

To say one event happens when it does because a preceding event happened when it did is to ignore the sheer coincidences of life.

To believe in what America is today vs. what it was 70 years ago is to believe that if Jackie Robinson hadn't done what he did, then surely someone else would've.

Yet to risk that is to ignore history because if there are no headwaters, then there is no river.What follows is hardly an all-inclusive list of accomplishments that flowed from baseball's integration.  

Would they have occurred if not for Jackie Robinson? Thankfully, we don't have to wonder. We can merely marvel.