With his legacy already honored by MLB’s annual Jackie Robinson Day and No. 42 jersey retired throughout the league, Robinson was honored both Friday and Saturday by UCLA, where he attended for two years.
Robinson, who became the first athlete to letter in four sports (baseball, basketball, football, track) at the collegiate level, received more honors as UCLA retired No. 42 across all sports and named the following 22 facilities after the dynamic athlete, the school announced:
In an official naming ceremony on the Drake Stadium concourse, UCLA officials said 22 facilities will be named the Jackie Robinson Athletics and Recreation Complex. They include: Acosta Athletic Training Complex, Bruin Fitness Center, Elvin C. “Ducky” Drake Track & Field Stadium, Easton Stadium, Gifford Golf Practice Facility, Hitch Outdoor Basketball Courts, UCLA Intramural Playing Fields, Jackie Robinson Stadium, J.D. Morgan Athletics Center, John Wooden Center, Kinross Recreation Center, Los Angeles Tennis Center, UCLA Marina Aquatics Center, North Athletic Field, North Pool, Edwin W. Pauley Pavilion, South Pool, Spaulding Field, Spieker Aquatics Center, Student Activities Center, Sunset Canyon Recreation Center and Sycamore Tennis Courts.
During Friday’s ceremony, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block spoke highly of the impact Robinson made and example he sets for student-athletes:
Jackie Robinson’s name and his legacy are an honor to this university, and to all the students and student-athletes who will continue to be inspired by his courage, dignity and grace,” said UCLA Chancellor Gene Block. “Jackie detested injustice, fought for civil rights and his spirit of breaking barriers has been and always will be a guiding force of UCLA past, present and future.”
Along with getting the facilities named after him, No. 42 was painted on the Rose Bowl field during the Bruins’ crosstown rivalry football game with USC; UCLA players also donned No. 42 on their helmets. Although Robinson didn’t wear No. 42 during his days at UCLA, it’s the number he’s most associated with.
Robinson broke the color barrier in the Majors when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. He went on to win Rookie of the Year and MVP two seasons later. Robinson spent 10 seasons with the Dodgers, playing in 1,382 career games.