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Jackie Robinson Day

Posted April 15th, 2016 at 12:23 pm (UTC-4)
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Wearing number 42 emblazoned in blue on a white uniform, the first black man took the field in a major league baseball game 69 years ago today. Jackie Robinson did not get a hit, but he scored one run and his Brooklyn Dodgers won that game against the Boston Braves on April 15, 1947. And a tectonic shift took place in American society. That first year was the hardest of Robinson’s 10 years playing baseball. He endured racial slurs, physical confrontations and death threats while showing America that a black man can compete with a white man. While it was a baseball field where Jackie Robinson competed, his courage and determination translated to all fields and aspects of American life. Filmmaker Ken Burns, who has produced a new documentary on Robinson’s life, calls him “the most important person in the history of baseball.” Because of baseball’s status as the American pastime, he was one of the most important people in America. Baseball honors Robinson by retiring his uniform number. No player wears his number in any game, except today, the anniversary of his first game, when every player wears Robinson’s number, 42, on their back, to honor the impact of his life.