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Jackie Robinson Day: MLB celebrates breakthrough star 75 years after debut

NEW YORK – Major League Baseball players are wearing Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 – and all in Dodger Blue this year – to mark the 75th anniversary of Robinson’s Big League debut.

In New York, Commissioner Rob Manfred hosted an event for the city’s youth baseball players in Times Square, with special guests Ken Griffey Jr., Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia, Joe Torre, Willie Randolph and Butch Huskey.

The Dodgers, of course, will be based in Los Angeles, taking on the Cincinnati Reds. They are joined by Robinson’s 99-year-old widow, Rachel, and their son, David.

Earlier in the day, David Robinson read the book “I Am Jackie Robinson” at Longfellow Elementary School in Pasadena, California, where Robinson grew up.

He was joined by Robinson’s granddaughter Ayo, pitcher David Price and Players Alliance founders Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson.

Outfielder Mookie Betts joined the Robinson family at nearby John Muir High to unveil a mural of Robinson. He played football, basketball, baseball, and track at the Pasadena School in the 1930s.

Jackie Robinson’s legacy continues to influence Major League Baseball 75 years after he first broke the league’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

A star from the moment he took the field, Robinson excelled despite an environment of hate and abuse from other players and fans.

Baseball retired Robinson’s No. 42 leaguewide in 1997 and established Jackie Robinson Day in 2004, where the league would honor his memory on the anniversary of his debut on April 15, 1947.

Players, managers and umpires all wear the No. 42 every April 15, and each team pays tribute to Robinson in their own way.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of Robinson’s first opening day.

“Robinson spent later in life weaving his influence into other areas of American life,” wrote ESPN writer and former player Doug Glanville. “He had no intention of stopping progress at first base, and his post-baseball endeavors became a continuation of his Hall of Fame career and struck the conscience of boardrooms, the political elite and institutions of power, including MLB .”

(ESPN and Associated Press contributed to this report)

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https://abc13.com/jackie-robinson-day-baseball-mlb-no-42/11751211/ Jackie Robinson Day: MLB celebrates breakthrough star 75 years after debut

Dais Johnston

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