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Jackie Robinson remembered around MLB on 77th anniversary of him breaking baseball’s color barrier



Jackie Robinson remembered around MLB on 77th anniversary of him breaking baseball's color barrier

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Main League Baseball marked the 77th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the game’s colour barrier on Monday.

Robinson began at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, starting the tip of the racial segregation that had relegated Black gamers to the Negro Leagues for many years.

“Jackie Robinson grew to become essentially the most vilified, focused topic of verbal abuse and malicious therapy within the sports activities enviornment since Jack Johnson had the audacity to turn out to be heavyweight champion of the world in 1908,” sociologist and civil rights activist Harry Edwards mentioned at Dodger Stadium. “Like Jack Johnson, Jackie Robinson stood alone.”

Members of Robinson’s household, together with his 101-year-old widow, had been at ballparks from coast-to-coast to honor him.

At Citi Discipline, Rachel Robinson rode in a golf cart to the Mets dugout, the place she was given flowers by supervisor Carlos Mendoza, and retired gamers Mookie Wilson and Butch Huskey, the final Mets participant to put on Robinson’s No. 42.

“She’s the legacy of perseverance,” mentioned David Robinson, the youngest son of Jackie and Rachel Robinson.

Each workforce taking part in Monday wore No. 42 jerseys.

Robinson’s life story is especially poignant to the Dodgers’ Dave Roberts, the primary supervisor of Asian heritage and second Black supervisor to steer a workforce to a World Sequence title.

“He had a giant burden in his life to be knowledgeable baseball participant however to tackle all this negativity, this hate in the direction of him, his spouse, his youngsters and nonetheless persevere,” Roberts mentioned.

Gamers and employees from the Dodgers, together with Shohei Ohtani, and the Washington Nationals surrounded Robinson’s statue in Centerfield Plaza hours earlier than sport time in Los Angeles.

“I can’t say sufficient of what Jackie Robinson’s meant to not solely the Black group however the Hispanic group as effectively,” Nationals supervisor Dave Martinez instructed the group. “He opened the doorways for a lot of, many nice gamers, he actually did, and he modified the lives of many together with myself. I don’t know if I might be right here if it wasn’t for Jackie. My idol Roberto Clemente undoubtedly, in all probability wouldn’t have been round. He exemplifies what it means to have energy, braveness and keenness.”

Reggie Smith, who by no means performed on a dropping workforce in his 13-year MLB profession, recalled nervously chatting with Robinson once they had been on the identical flight from Los Angeles to the East Coast.

Smith launched himself and mentioned Robinson instructed him, “I do know who you might be and I do know what you stand for.”

“That meant a lot to me,” Smith instructed the gamers. “At any time when there was injustice on that ballfield of any form I might converse up as a result of he gave me the braveness to have the ability to try this.”

The Dodgers and Nationals had been joined by Ayo Robinson, a granddaughter of Jackie and Rachel Robinson who was born after his dying in 1972. Her father is David Robinson.

“I take in my grandfather via the expertise of others,” she mentioned after the ceremony. “The truth that he’s nonetheless so impactful in our society at present means lots to me as an individual, however it means lots to me as an American as effectively.”

Smith urged at present’s MLB gamers to recollect Robinson and his travails, which included being barred from motels and eating places due to his pores and skin colour in addition to on-field verbal abuse from followers and opposing groups.

“Preserve it in thoughts in order that this sport can proceed to maneuver ahead the way in which that it has during the last years,” Smith mentioned, “and be grateful that you just’re right here and also you’re capable of do the issues that you just do day in and time out.”

Former NL Cy Younger Award winner Orel Hershiser, the 1988 World Sequence MVP for the Dodgers, has bought a portray titled “Grace” that depicts Robinson praying round a dinner desk with former Dodger greats Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe and Martin Luther King Jr.

Hershiser plans to maintain the portray at its present dwelling, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas Metropolis.

“I’m honored to be its proprietor,” he mentioned in a press release. “It marks a vital historic time, and you will need to maintain this piece the place individuals can find out about this second.”

Artist Dave Hobrecht donated his portray for show on the museum in 2020, however the wood canvas was broken throughout cargo, leading to a crack that fully indifferent the underside portion of the picture from the remaining.

Hobrecht and museum president Bob Kendrick determined to reframe the piece and maintain it the way in which it arrived.

“Not having a breakable spirit, that’s Jackie Robinson,” Kendrick mentioned within the assertion. “We determined to unveil it with the harm and that it could be a metaphor that superbly captures what Jackie was all about.”


AP Baseball Author Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.



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