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A ‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Mixed Up Babe Ruth And Jackie Robinson

There are few things that trip up Jeopardy! contestants more regularly than sports categories. It’s a blind spot for many in the world of academia, and for those of us that know nothing of literature but a lot about sports, those categories always provide a bit of schadenfreude.

However, sometimes when contestants guess wildly at a sports question, it can produce a fairly cringeworthy moment, as happened on Wednesday night’s episode during the College Tournament. The $1,000 answer in the category of “Unique College Courses” was:

“One of the topics covered in a Major League Baseball course at Arizona State is this player, who broke the color barrier in 1947.”

The correct response is, “Who is Jackie Robinson,” but one contestant buzzed in and, I assume, shouted out the first old baseball player they could think of in Babe Ruth.

It’s an unfortunate prompt to fire off a guess at, as Ruth, of course, was extremely white and dominated baseball while it was still segregated. Nathaniel, the contestant from Yale, quickly buzzed in and offered up the correct response. The good news for Xiaoke is that she would rebound from this miss and go on to win this episode and earn a place in the tournament finals.