When he began playing for the Dodgers in 1947, at age 28, Jackie Robinson was older than the typical rookie. Baseball fans and players reacted to Robinson with everything from unbridled enthusiasm evident in newspaper headlines, to wariness and open hostility expressed in beanball pitches and death threats. His athletic abilities prevailed despite the intense pressures caused by breaking the "color line." Robinson won respect and became a symbol of black opportunity. The Sporting News, which had opposed blacks in the major leagues, gave Robinson its first Rookie of the Year Award in 1947. The award was renamed in Robinson's honor in 1987.