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Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day

Apr 15, 2012, 1:14 PM EDT

jackie robinson

On April 15, 1947 — 65 years ago today — Jackie Robinson made his debut at Ebbets Field, breaking Major League Baseball’s color barrier in a 5-3 Brooklyn Dodgers victory over the visiting Boston Braves. On Sunday, the baseball world remembers and celebrates and collectively dons Jackie’s No. 42.

And if you haven’t already seen it, here is MLB’s fantastic promotional bit about Jackie Robinson Day, narrated by legendary Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. When Vin speaks, we should listen. When Vin speaks about Jackie, we should listen closer.

  1. dondada10 - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:58 PM

    Despite the attention that Jackie Robinson gets, he’s still underrated. Baseball was probably his third best sport: He was a track and field star as well as a high school football legend. What’s more, if a modern day star was jerked between positions and spots in the line-up as much as Robinson was, there would be an uproar.

    He was the constant professional and retiring 42 across the league was one of the better things MLB ever did.

    • fcs34 - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      The dude averaged over 8 yards a carry at UCLA. Unreal. Maybe one of the greatest athelets of all time. What a freakin stud.

    • hojo20 - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:56 PM

      I want MLB to retire 31. Greg Maddux was awesome.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:12 AM

      In the New Bill James abstract, he said that, looking at the available numbers, Robinson was probably an exceptional defensive player. What’s amazing is that no one really remarked it at the time. All James had to go on was putouts and assists (comparing Jackie to league average and to others on his team who played the same position in the same year).

      Robinson’s talents as a player are definitely undervalued. That’s okay with me. He wasn’t as good as, say, Joe Morgan. But in 100 years, we’ll still know Jackie’s name.

  2. astrosfan75956 - Apr 15, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    I hate that they all wear 42, honor one player per team and allow him to wear 42.

    • ncphilliesguy - Apr 15, 2012 at 4:55 PM

      I agree with you, I think it would mean more if one African-American player got the honor of wearing Jackie’s number. I think that was the original idea, but the players couldn’t agree on who got to wear it and there was bad feelings.

  3. Utley's Hair - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    I was about to leave an obnoxious response to the overtly racist comment from kfiz. Luckily, somebody in the HBT powers that be decided his/her comment was bad enough to just be stripped off the board. Way to go Drew.

    • Drew Silva - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:02 PM

      That one sat there longer than it should’ve. My apologies.

      • Utley's Hair - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:34 AM

        I wasn’t calling you out on it, Drew, though it seems that I was. I was actually commending you on it. I don’t know how long it was on there. By the time I had read it and logged in to comment, the page had been fixed.

  4. stew48 - Apr 15, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    It is my sincere hope that all baseball fans see the picture of Robinson with Peewee Reese and another teammate shown here. I was fortunate enough to see him play; what an amazing athlete. And, he was’t “jerked around” either. He played where asked because he had a tremendous desire to win and contribute. I have seen him steal home; did it matter what position he played that day? While in the USAF, I listened on the radio when he made an unbelievable (announcers, not me) catch in the Series. For me, the saddest part of the story was his anger later in life, but nothing will taint his tremendous contributions to baseball and the country as a whole.

  5. John Vincent - Apr 15, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Reblogged this on Johnny's Baseball Blog and commented:
    One of the greatest moments in American History…

  6. ncphilliesguy - Apr 15, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    I think there are certain people in history that are put in certain situations (by God, providence, the aliens, whatever you believe in) in that only they could succeed. Recently, Chrurchill, JFK, MLK, the firefighters at WTC come to mind. Jackie was one of those people. There aren’t many in sports. Jim Thorpe maybe. Jesse Owens. Jackie’s contribution is to society, not just baseball, and it is great that MLB recognizes him. I wish I could have met the man.

  7. cur68 - Apr 15, 2012 at 6:08 PM

    Dodger game’s on. For anyone who has it, Scully’s calling the broadcast and telling Robinson stories. Scully and Robinson knew each other, of course, so these are first hand accounts. Besides Scully calling a game, you also get the bonus of him reminiscing about one of the greatest figures in baseball. Its pretty cool.

  8. slavetothetrafficlight - Apr 15, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    Pardon the tangent, but why is Jacoby Ellsbury on there? Native Americans were never outside the color barrier.

  9. stew48 - Apr 16, 2012 at 8:37 AM

    A P.S. to my comment: We need always acknowledge the part Branch Rickey played in Jackie’s life. It was he, as owner of the Dodgers, who masterminded the whole very difficult process of Robinson being signed, playing in Montreal and then Brooklyn.

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