As we note every April 15, today is Jackie Robinson Day.
Baseball celebrates a lot of anniversaries, but none more important. You know this already, of course, but one cannot overstate the significance of the fact that sixty-eight years ago today Robinson became the first black man to play major league baseball in the modern era. It’s not ancient history. Really, many of your parents were alive at a time when only white men were allowed to play baseball. I’ve known this my whole life but it never ceases to boggle my mind.
As has become tradition, players will wear 42 on their jerseys today. And though you know the general story, you should take some extra time to reacquaint yourself with Robinson’s story once again. You should go check out Jackie’s Baseball-Reference.com page too, as we sometimes spend so much time talking about his historical significance that we forget he was a hell of a baseball player regardless. It’s also worth remembering that Robinson’s post-playing career, which includes a lot of important work in the civil rights movement, was also significant.
Happy 42 Day.