Robinson missed the game because manager Walter Alston decided to play Gilliam at second and Don Hoak at third base. The tutelage helped Robinson raise his batting average from. Many of his former teammates and other famous black baseball players served as pallbearers and the Rev.
In recognition of his achievements on and off the field Robinson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (January 31 1919 – October 24 1972) was an American baseball player who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era. He was selected for six consecutive All-Star Games from 1949 to 1954 was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award in 1947 and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949—the first black player so honored.