Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Happy Jackie Robinson Day 2015

Today we celebrate Jackie Robinson Day across our great nation.

Jackie Robinson broke into the big leagues 68 years ago today, April 15, 1947, at Ebbetts Field in Brooklyn.

Big League and Minor League baseball clubs all around baseball will be honoring Jackie Robinson today and tonight, including our local team, the Jacksonville Suns.

The first 1,000 fans in attendance tonight at Bragan Field will receive a special "42" pin.

Here's how the Sporting News covered that historical day, not only in baseball history, but in American History as well.

Before that day in 1947, there had been a "gentelman's agreement" between all big league baseball clubs that no man of color would be allowed to play baseball for any of their clubs.

That all changed when Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey signed Robinson to a professional contract on August 28, 1945.

Robinson played for the Dodgers AAA affiliate Montreal Royals in 1946.

Jackie Robinson was born in Georgia, grew up in California, went to college at UCLA, playing baseball and football, and served in the US Army in World War II.

Jackie played Negro League Baseball for the Kansas City Monarchs before joining the Dodgers organization.

Jackie Robinson played big league baseball for the Dodgers his entire big league career, 1947-56, was the '47 Rookie of theYear, the 1949 National League Most Valuable Player, and played on the 1955 World Series Championship Dodgers.

Jackie was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

Jackie passed away in 1972, shortly after making an appearance at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati for the '72 World Series.

In 1997, 50 years after he broke the color barrier, Major League Baseball retired Jackie's #42 uniform number.

The last player to wear #42 in the big leagues was Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees, during the 2013 baseball season. 

I hope you get to a ball game tonight in your city, or get to watch a game on TV.

The Dodgers, now in Los Angeles,  always play at home on this day, and their game vs. the Seattle Mariners will be on ESPN tonight.

Have a great #JackieRJackieRobinsonDay everyone. 


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