The Los Angeles Dodgers hosted the 2015 Civil Rights Game on Wednesday night on the same night of Jackie Robinson Day.
With every player wearing the number 42, the Dodgers defeated the Mariners, 5-2, to sweep the three-game series. For many, it was not their first time wearing 42 on Jackie Robinson Day, but their first time wearing it as a member of the Dodgers.
According to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, Jimmy Rollins was excited about more than just the prospect of wearing the number of the first African American in the Majors:
The real cool thing for me was that I got to meet Rachel Robinson,” Rollins said of Robinson’s widow, an active participant in the pregame ceremonies at age 92. “I talked to her and thanked her for everything. It was a real honor.”
Rollins joined center fielder Joc Pederson in wearing high socks in honor of Robinson, and Pederson reflected on his first time wearing the iconic number:
It’s a blessing, you know?” Pederson said. “It’s the first time I put on No. 42. It’s an honor to the man and what he went through for baseball and how he changed the game.”
Pederson made a huge impact on the actual game, making a diving catch and throwing a runner out at the plate as well as hitting an RBI single.
Fellow outfielder Carl Crawford talked about the honor and pride he feels participating in this game:
It means a lot to me to be able to play on Jackie Robinson Day,” Crawford said. “He stood up for civil rights and sacrificed a lot so guys like me could play. This game represents that, so I just want to play hard and remember everything that happened in the past. It’s definitely an honor for me, to keep the tradition alive.”
For such a historic franchise, the current Dodger players know the history and appreciate it.
Dodgers 2015 Spring Training – Carl Crawford