On the 68th anniversary of the day Jackie Robinson played in his first Major League game, every single Major League Baseball player who took the field on Wednesday proudly touted the number 42 on their jerseys in honor of the always special Jackie Robinson Day.
This day was especially meaningful for the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, who held a pregame ceremony for their Civil Rights Game honoring their former players, which included appearances from Robinson’s widow Rachel Robinson, Sandy Koufax, Don Newcombe, Don Mattingly and Magic Johnson. Dodgers president Stan Kasten was also in attendance during the pregame festivities and had an exciting announcement to make at the Chavez Ravine.
Kasten declared that the organization would be unveiling a statue of Robinson at Dodger Stadium later this year. Kasten is not sure as to where yet the statue will be placed, the design of it, or even when exactly it will be built, but only ensured fans he was incredibly honored to be making the announcement with Robinson’s wife by his side.
The statue will be one of a few new pieces included in a new statue program honoring Dodgers icons, and Rachel, along with Robinson’s daughter Sharon, will be giving their input as to how they believe the statue of their loving father and husband should be portrayed. The statue will be highly anticipated among Dodgers fans and the organization alike.
Robinson began playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and was named the National League Rookie of the Year. Two years later he was honored as the National League Most Valuable Player and would eventually be named to the Hall of Fame in 1962. His famous number 42 was retired league-wide by Bud Selig in 1997.
Over Robinson’s 10 seasons in baseball, he changed the way the game was played forever, and a triumphant 5-2 win Wednesday night to top off Dodgers sweep of the Seattle Mariners was just icing on the cake for the special day at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers 2015 Spring Training – Darnell Sweeney