“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives” – Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers (now referred to as the Los Angeles Dodgers) as the first black major league baseball player on April 15, 1947. Since 2004, April 15th has been widely known and celebrated as Jackie Robinson Day. Robinson’s placement on the Brooklyn Dodgers abolished relatively eighty years of segregation in the sport of baseball and ultimately resulted in his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
During the first annual celebration of Jackie Robinson Day Bud Seglimade, the Baseball Commissioner at the time, stated, “ I have often stated that baseball’s proudest moment and its most powerful social statement came on April 15, 1947, when Jackie Robinson first set foot on a Major League Baseball field. On that day, Jackie brought down the color barrier and ushered in the era in which baseball became the true national pastime. Fifty years after that historic event, in April 1997, I was proud to join Rachel Robinson and President Bill Clinton at Shea Stadium to honor Jackie by retiring his uniform number 42 in perpetuity. By establishing April 15 as ‘Jackie Robinson Day’ throughout Major League Baseball, we are further ensuring that the incredible contributions and sacrifices he made — for baseball and society — will not be forgotten”.
This year the Los Angeles Dodgers along with all the other Major Baseball League teams will accompany Robinson’s widow, Rachel, and daughter Sharon participating in the pregame ceremony.
Danny Blackwell, executive publisher of the Los Angeles Sentinel and the L.A. Watts times, chairman of The Bakewell Co., and chairman of the Brotherhood Crusade will be throwing the first pitch and the first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive an adult replica Jackie Robinson jersey.