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The 20 greatest Dodgers of all time, No. 2: Jackie Robinson

The 20 greatest Dodgers of all time, No. 2: Jackie Robinson

Continuing our countdown of the 20 greatest Dodgers of all time, as selected by our readers:

No. 2: Jackie Robinson (3,242 first-place votes, 108,582 points)

Full List: See the top 20 greatest Dodgers of all time

You can't do dignity to Jackie Robinson's status as a civil rights pioneer in a blog post, so I'm not even going to try, except to say that alone makes him worthy of being on this list.

But in all the talk about Robinson's role as the man who broke baseball's color barrier, one thing often gets left out: He was a great player. I can list his stats, but it's better to let others say how good he was.

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—Bill James, in his "Historical Baseball Abstract," lists Robinson as the fourth-greatest second baseman in baseball history.

—Former manager Charlie Dressen once said, "Give me five players like Robinson and a pitcher and I'll beat any nine-man team in baseball."

—Duke Snider: "He was the greatest competitor I've ever seen. I've seen him beat a team with his bat, his ball, his glove, his feet and, in a game in Chicago one time, with his mouth."

—Former Cardinals great Red Schoendienst: "If it wasn't for him, the Dodgers would be in the second division."

—Pee Wee Reese: "Thinking about the things that happened, I don't know any other ballplayer who could have done what he did. To be able to hit with everybody yelling at him. He had to block all that out, block out everything but this ball that is coming in at a hundred miles an hour. To do what he did has got to be the most tremendous thing I've ever seen in sports." 

—Hall of Famer Frank Robinson: “You ever hear people talking about him as an offensive player or defensive player? It’s a shame, really. It’s something that’s been overlooked. He was spectacular and he was sound and he did things that other players couldn’t even think about.”

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