16 April, 2017
Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947 by becoming the first African-American to play baseball in the major leagues.
Although I never met Jackie, I have interviewed his wonderful wife, Rachel Robinson, who always shows her love for Jackie, baseball, and of course, America every time I see her. The Robinson statue will be the first of several player statues to be erected at Dodgers stadium but Jackie's daughter Sharon thinks it is the ideal way to link the Brooklyn Dodgers legacy to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Many historians believe Robinson's breakthrough was an early step that eventually led to other civil rights breakthroughs. The team will unveil his likeness during Jackie Robinson Day festivit.
During the pregame ceremony and the game itself, the Nationals will honor the contributions of African-Americans to the game of baseball and the community. The statue depicts Robinson stealing home as a rookie with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, a nod to the aggressive baserunning of the six-time All-Star.
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"It's emotional", Jackie Robinson's daughter Sharon said this week. Robinson had a bunt single in the seventh inning that helped to spark a 3-run-rally, and the Dodgers went on to win, 5-3. It stands in the left field reserve plaza, where there are views of downtown Los Angeles in one direction and Elysian Park in the other. This is the third straight year UCLA has unveiled special Jackie Robinson-inspired jerseys to honor his memory. He used to come home and say, 'They gave me a standing ovation, ' and [he] was so shocked.
It's hard to not get emotional seeing Robinson's legacy honored in such a meaningful way.
Even though he passed away in 1972, Robinson's legacy is still felt.
On Saturday, Robinson's impact will be celebrated throughout baseball, from special lineup cards to jeweled bases to some players wearing commemorative cleats.