The Los Angeles Dodgers are leading the way in celebrating Jackie Robinson Day on Thursday.
They’re hosting the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium. They spent time as a team around the Jackie Robinson statue before the game. Manager Dave Roberts, Mookie Betts and David Price donated their salaries for today to the Players Alliance.
While remembering the life of Jackie Robinson is important each and every year, one could argue 2021 holds more weight than recent seasons when you consider the rising racial tensions in the United States in addition to all we’ve heard from Black athletes in every sports league since George Floyd’s death. Reflecting and listening are imperative during times like these.
Last year, the celebration felt misplaced. The delayed season had the league mark Jackie Robinson Day for Aug. 28, and we were all gutted after learning Chadwick Boseman, who portrayed the former Brooklyn Dodger in the movie “42,” had passed away that evening after a silent battle with cancer.
But everything’s almost back to normal in 2021. Remembering Robinson on April 15 certainly helped drive home that sentiment.
The Dodgers decided to go the extra mile, too. They mowed Robinson’s No. 42 into the center field grass and, as usual, it was written on the back of the pitcher’s mound.
So when Justin Turner went yard in the bottom of the third to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead, fans were once again reminded of Jackie along the way. Before the pitch, while the ball was sailing over the outfield, and while Turner was trotting the bases.
42 everywhere you turned. What a moment. And Turner, who’s said to be the heart and soul of this Dodger team, is certainly a fitting player to capture the moment. He just so happens to be having the best month of April in his career, too.
What a start it’s been for the Dodgers, both on and off the field. Jackie’s no doubt looking down after that 2020 World Series and saying, “Go get another one this year, boys.”