April 15, 1947 — 74 years ago today — Jack Roosevelt Robinson made his major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers and shattered the color barrier as the first black man to play in MLB. And Now, every April 15th, each and every player in baseball dons the iconic number 42 in honor of Jackie.
For most players and coaches it’s an honor. For Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, it’s much more special than that. Ahead of Jackie Robinson Day, Doc reflected on what it means to wear number 42 on the back of the jersey with Dodgers filling the space on the front.
…it’s a ‘wow’ moment for me. It’s a moment of humility. I’ve worn the 42 in other uniforms, and to wear it as a major league ballplayer is certainly special. But to wear it with the Dodgers across your chest is more magnified. I’m really looking forward to taking a few moments to reflect and hopefully reach out to [Jackie’s widow] Rachel and [Jackie’s daughter] Sharon to give my love to.
Dave Roberts said that tomorrow, there will be a big group of players and coaches to go visit the Jackie Robinson statue outside of the stadium in honor of his day.
— Dodgers Nation (@DodgersNation) April 14, 2021
Roberts added that he plans on taking players and coaches out beyond centerfield, into the new plaza where a statue of Robinson sits before today’s game to pay respects to the late Hall of Famer.
At a time of heightened civil unrest, take time to research something new on the life and career of Jackie Robinson. It literally cannot hurt you.