As we note every April 15, today is Jackie Robinson Day.
Baseball celebrates a lot of anniversaries, but none more important. One cannot overstate the significance of the fact that sixty-nine 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.
As has become tradition, players will wear 42 on their jerseys today. All games tonight will feature pregame commemorations and special on-field, pre-game ceremonies. There will be Jackie Robinson Day “jeweled bases and lineup cards.” MLB Network is televising tonight’s San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers game as well, where there will be all sorts of things happening and, I presume, an appearances from Rachel and Sharon Robinson, the wife and daughter of JackieRobinson.
Beyond that, though you know the general parameters of it all, 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.