Major League Baseball is honoring their first black player of the modern era, Jackie Robinson (1919 – 1972), with celebrations across the United States. Every MLB ballpark in the U.S., from Boston’s Fenway Park to San Francisco’s AT&T Park, is celebrating the 65th anniversary of the day Robinson broke through the color barrier.
Umpires, coaches, managers, and players all wore Jackie’s No. 42 in celebration of Jackie Robinson Day. One of Robinson’s former teammates on the Brooklyn Dodgers, Ralph Branca, threw the first pitch at Fenway Park.
Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers tweeted: “Thank u Jackie Robinson!!!”
Robinson’s family plans on taking part in a Sunday night ceremony prior to the Angels game which will take place at Yankee Stadium.
Jackie’s daughter, Sharon, took part in an event which included the likes of LaTroy Hawkins of the L.A. Angels and Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson.
Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson played in six World Series, including the Dodgers’ 1955 World Championship win, and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. His number 42 uniform was retired across all MLB team in 1997.
In addition to his incredible success as baseball player, the Civil Rights Movement icon was also the first black television analyst in Major League Baseball. In the 1960s, he assisted in the establishment of an African-American-owned financial institution in Harlem, N.Y., the Freedom National Bank.
Robinson was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
What are your thoughts on the legendary ballplayer and all of the events scheduled in his honor?
Jackie Robinson Day Video: