MLB celebrates Jackie Robinson Day on 75th anniversary of his debut – NBC New York
MLB celebrates Jackie Robinson Day on 75th anniversary of his debut, originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
April 15 will forever be a special day for baseball.
On this day 75 years ago, Jackie Robinson made his MLB debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers and broke the sport’s color barrier. Twenty-five years ago Commissioner Bud Selig announced that Robinson’s number 42 would be retired league-wide.
On Friday, however, Robinson’s number will once again be on every player’s back.
Jackie Robinson Day was first held on April 15, 2004. Five years later, a new tradition was born when every player, manager and coach began wearing No. 42 for the celebration.
This custom continued on Friday, but with a new twist. Instead of wearing Robinson’s number in their own team colors, all organizations wear it in Dodger blue.
In addition to the number on the back, the jerseys will also feature a patch on the right sleeve.
Friday’s Robinson celebration extended beyond the diamond. In New York, 42nd Street and Broadway in Manhattan have been temporarily named Jackie Robinson Way.
The World Series trophy will be in Robinson’s hometown of Cairo, Georgia on Friday. The defending Atlanta Braves champion sent his award to the children of the Jackie Robinson Boys and Girls Club of Cairo-Grady County.
The Players Alliance announced that players, coaches and staff are pledging to donate their game day salaries to help the association create new programs. Lorenzo Cain, Jason Heyward, Aaron Hicks, Mike Moustakas and David Price are among the players who will pay their full or partial salaries on game day.
“Players sacrifice pay because they believe diversity is an asset that must be actively pursued,” said Players Alliance board chairman and former outfielder Curtis Granderson. “Our supporters reflect every racial, religious and professional level encountered in the sport and they are committed to upholding Jackie’s legacy by breaking down the barriers of today.”