Today all players in the major leagues, including those on the Dodgers will wear the number 42 on the back of their jerseys. It is a day made to honor the most important player in MLB history, Jackie Robinson.
April 15, 1947, is the most important date in the history of Major League Baseball. That is the day when Jackie Robinson, played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers against the Boston Braves, breaking the color barrier. It was the move that led to the opportunity for other African-Americans to play in the big leagues rather than in a segregated league.
When I think of Jackie Robinson, three words come to mind and those are courage, hope, and perseverance. Courage because it was a very brave task that Jackie Robinson took on and he knew what he was about to face. Yet, Jackie still took on the most important role in MLB history, and he went on to have a Hall of Fame career.
Hope is another word that comes to mind because Jackie gave hope to so many other non-white players that they would one day be able to play in the big leagues. He was a symbol of hope that perhaps one day, everyone will be accepted the same regardless of the color of their skin. Jackie Robinson also had a great amount of perseverance to keep on going despite the horrible things said to him, the death threats he received, and the pressure he must have felt on a daily basis.
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While Jackie’s legacy gets officially recognized every season on April 15th, his legacy will forever be both remembered and celebrated in every game that is played. The most beautiful scene in baseball is when every player plays on Jackie Robinson day, wearing the number 42. It’s an illustration of unity, that all players across the league are united and equal as human beings.
Every time I wear my Dodgers’ jersey it makes me proud knowing that the Dodgers are the team that Jackie Robinson played for and the team that helped shatter the color barrier forever.
Here is what Dodgers Way writers Jason McClure and Jack Trent Dorfman had to say about what Jackie Robinson day means to them:
Jason McClure – Jackie Robinson was so much more than just the first African-American to play at the Major League Baseball level. He was so much more than a Rookie of the Year, All-Star, and an MVP. His legacy extends beyond the iconic stealing of home during the 1955 World Series. Jackie Robinson was a beacon of perseverance and a pillar of leadership. He showed that you can create change in the world through any career path, even through a kid’s game.
Jack Trent Dorfman – The first baseball game I ever remember going to was a Jackie Robinson day game at Dodger Stadium. At the time, I was not very into baseball, but after learning about Jackie and his impact on the game and on so many people’s love of the game, I started following baseball like I do today. Even my childhood self was able to grasp the beauty of baseball through the lens of Jackie’s importance to all people, baseball fans or not.