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Jackie Robinson’s Legacy Protrayed In 42

by admin on Thursday, April 18th, 2013

Jackie RobinsonEveryone is already talking about the new movie about the life of major league baseball legend Jackie Robinson called “42” after the number that Robinson wore on his uniform.  Baseball has evolved to be hardly recognizable as the same sport since the days of Jackie Robinson.  No zillion dollar contracts… no super lucrative baseball shoe deals… no glitzy TV commercials.

Jackie Robinson was the first black man to ever play major league baseball and it was not an easy road for him. But Robinson prevailed and won the MLB Rookie of the Year in 1947.  He was also named the National League’s MVP in 1949 and was a World Series Champion in 1955.

Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia and attended the University of California at Los Angeles.  He played his entire major league career with the Brooklyn Dodgers and his influence on the game of baseball and life in America made Robinson one of the major figures in American sports history.

Before Martin Luther King Jr., before Rosa Parks, Jackie Robinson took up the banner of African-American rights and brought it before the public eye for perhaps the first time in history.  His stature as a sports hero gave him a voice that people of all colors just could not ignore… including more than one president of the United States.

It was the Dodgers legendary general manager Branch Rickey who took the giant step of hiring a black man to play baseball in Brooklyn.  Imagine if you will what a leap of faith that must have been for both Rickey and Robinson to take in 1947.  Other MLB teams were discussing taking on a black player but none took the plunge until Rickey decided that a black man should play ball at Ebbets Field.

So now we have a national holiday on April 15 in honor of Jackie Robinson.  MLB players who take the field on that day all wear the number 42 in honor of this great man.  His contributions to our culture are undeniable. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

So, this year we celebrate the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first game in the majors and there is a new movie just released celebrating his life and times.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig has declared that the number 42 be retired throughout the league in honor of the great Jackie Robinson.

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