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Every year on April 15, the MLB community celebrates Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier and becoming the first black player to suit up in the big leagues.
It was 75 years ago today, in 1947, that Robinson started at first base for the then Brooklyn Dodgers, in front of 26,623 at Ebbets Field. Two years later, Robinson was named the National League MVP and in 1962, was selected as a first-ballot Baseball Hall of Famer.
Beyond the accolades, however, Robinson is remembered for his courage, as he paved the way for the generations of black players who came after him. And in 2004, MLB began honoring his legacy every April 15, what is now known as Jackie Robinson Day. On this day, every MLB player takes the field wearing Robinson’s iconic No. 42, the only number that has been retired league-wide.
And at Citi Field today, about 12 miles from where Robinson made his debut, the Mets and Diamondbacks, as well as Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars, lined up on the baseline to honor Robinson.
Every other team will do the same, with tributes rolling in from around MLB. Some players such as the Brewers’ Lorenzo Cain, the Cubs’ Jason Heyward, the Yankees’ Aaron Hicks, the Reds’ Mike Moustakas and the Dodgers’ David Price will donate their salary from today’s games to invest in struggling inner city and rural baseball teams, per USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.
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