Jackie Robinson Day: MLB Remembers 75th Anniversary Of Robinson Breaking Color Barrier

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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.

UNSPECIFIED – UNDATED: Brooklyn Dodgers infielders Spider Jorgensen, Pee Wee Reese, Eddie Starkey and Jackie Robinson. (Photo by William Greene/Sports Studio Photos/Getty Images)

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.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 15: The Arizona Diamondbacks wear #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson during the Mets home opening game at Citi Field on April 15, 2022 in New York City. All players are wearing the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – APRIL 15: Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso of the New York Mets wear Jackie Robinson stockings displaying his likeness and number 42 during the Mets home opening game at Citi Field on April 15, 2022 in New York City. All players are wearing the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 15: Members of the New York Mets and Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars stand during a ceremony before the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Mets at Citi Field on Friday, April 15, 2022 in New York, New York. (Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 15: A detail view of the special patch work by players on Jackie Robinson Day during the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Mets at Citi Field on Friday, April 15, 2022 in New York, New York. (Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

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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Written by Nick Geddes

Nick Geddes is a 2021 graduate of the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. A life-long sports enthusiast, Nick shares a passion for sports writing and is proud to represent OutKick.

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