When the Brooklyn Dodgers hired Jackie Robinson in 1947, he was the first African American to break Major League Baseball's color barrier. Almost overnight Robinson became a symbol of hope and achievement, not only to African Americans but to citizens of every race. Baseball was extremely popular and its integration helped pave the way toward integration in other areas of society. Robinson proved himself as a top player for the team and distinguished himself in his career after baseball. Many people, then and now, consider him a true American hero. In the early 1950s Robinson endorsed several baseball simulation games which featured his image.