70 years ago today, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier of the MLB to become the first African-American to play in the majors. In honor of this monumental move, the MLB will go the extra mile with “Jackie Robinson Day.”
Every player, umpire, coach, and manager will honor Robinson by wearing his number 42 today. The tradition of honoring Robinson started in 2004, while wearing his number started in 2009.
Even though the MLB has honored Robinson for years, this year brings new additions to the festivities.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will debut a 10-foot-tall, bronze statue of Robinson, where he played for the then Brooklyn Dodgers. Fans who attend the game will also receive a replica of the same statue.
The Major League Baseball Players Association also donated $42,000 to the Jackie Robinson Foundation. The foundation, founded in 1973 by his wife Rachel Robinson, makes it their mission to create equal opportunity in higher education, while letting Jackie Robinson’s legacy live on.
Adidas created a commemorative version of their adizero Afterburner, which Adidas-sponsored athletes will wear.
If not for Robinson, many players of other ethnicities may not have had the chance to live out their dreams of playing baseball on one of the biggest stages. We applaud the MLB and all of their efforts to make sure Robinson’s name and legacy lives on.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) April 15, 2017
This Jackie Robinson statue replica will be given away at Dodger Stadium on April 15 – Jackie Robinson Day. pic.twitter.com/xSD58cqJaU
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) April 5, 2017
— Paul Murphy (@PabloMurphy) April 10, 2017
The game never forgets.
— The Players’ Tribune (@PlayersTribune) April 14, 2017
— #MLBPA (@MLB_PLAYERS) April 14, 2017