Jackie Robinson Day 2021: How Sports World is Honoring MLB Icon

Adam WellsApril 15, 2021

FILE - This March 4, 1946, file photo shows Jackie Robinson of the Montreal Royals baseball team, in Sanford, Fla. All players, managers, coaches and umpires will wear No. 42 on Thursday, April 15, 2021, to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day, marking the anniversary of the date the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer made his Major League Baseball debut and broke the sport's color barrier in 1947. (AP Photo/Bill Chaplis, File)
AP Photo/Bill Chaplis, File

Thursday marks the 74th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball. 

Robinson debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, going 0-for-3 with a run scored in a 5-3 win over the Boston Braves. He went on to be named National League Rookie of the Year and finished fifth in NL MVP voting in that first season. 

Jackie Robinson Foundation @JRFoundation

It’s #JackieRobinsonDay – 74 years ago he broke the modern era color barrier in major league baseball. Honor him with a donation to his living legacy @JRFoundation: https://t.co/7mfD6MYnr4<br><br>“I played hard, and always to win.”<br>-Jackie Robinson pic.twitter.com/1f0UX4tSO4

Jackie Robinson Foundation @JRFoundation

A Jackie Robinson Story:<br>1) Jackie wakes early on April 15, 1947, at the McAlpin Hotel in NYC. On his way to Ebbets Field, he tells his wife Rachel, “Just in case you have trouble picking me out, I’ll be wearing #42.” He rides the subway to Brooklyn. #JackieRobinsonDay pic.twitter.com/5SnGDeNHFA

As MLB has done every year since 2004, Jackie Robinson Day is celebrated across the sport on this date. The league is also extending the commemoration to Friday, since eight teams don't have games scheduled today. 


Today we pay homage to the legacy and courage of a trailblazer, Jackie Robinson. #Jackie42 pic.twitter.com/mxaidbah9E

The Atlanta Braves shared a quote from franchise icon Hank Aaron, who died in January at the age of 86, about what Robinson meant to him:

Atlanta Braves @Braves

Thank you, Jackie.#Jackie42 pic.twitter.com/wgEs54z3dQ

The Chicago Cubs showed off their No. 42 jerseys and other decorations around Wrigley Field that will celebrate Robinson when they play the Braves on Friday afternoon:

Chicago Cubs @Cubs

Jackie Robinson was a champion for change on and off the field.<br><br>We are proud to celebrate 42 in his honor. #Jackie42 pic.twitter.com/DQ3DXPW781

Prior to being signed by the Dodgers in October 1945, Robinson played that season with the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues. He hit .387 with five homers and 13 stolen bases in 47 games. 

The Undefeated @TheUndefeated

Before he broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, Jackie Robinson played shortstop for the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues. #JackieRobinsonDay pic.twitter.com/TS07WQfprz

Former American League Cy Young winners CC Sabathia and David Price honored Robinson's legacy:

CC Sabathia @CC_Sabathia

We owe so much of this game to the great Jackie Robinson. He broke barriers so we could compete at the highest level. A legend, an icon, a trailblazer. 74 years ago to infinity. Thank you for everything, 42 🙏🏾✊🏾 #JackieRobinsonDay

ThePlayersAlliance @Player_Alliance

#42, today is for you 🖤 pic.twitter.com/1SggLSoeNP

Teams across MLB and Minor League Baseball shared quotes, images and highlights from Robinson's life and career to honor him:

Pirates @Pirates

Today we honor the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson and his impact on the game of baseball.#Jackie42 pic.twitter.com/paTZk2KnqQ

Washington Nationals @Nationals

Jackie Robinson’s impact on baseball – and our country – will be felt forever.<br><br>Today, we honor and celebrate him.#Jackie42 pic.twitter.com/5iqtbzj5bl

Reading Fightin Phils @ReadingFightins

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." - Jackie Robinson #42 #JackieRobinsonDay pic.twitter.com/YAZ1L7Nq50

Jupiter Hammerheads @GoHammerheads

Today and everyday we remember Jackie Robinson, the trailblazer that changed how we act on and off the field. #JackieRobinsonDay pic.twitter.com/pUA9s9QJno

As part of the tradition on Jackie Robinson Day, every player, manager, coach and umpire will wear the No. 42. 

Robinson played 10 MLB seasons, all with the Dodgers, from 1947 to 1956. He finished in the top 20 in NL MVP voting eight times, winning the award in 1949 after leading the NL with a .342 batting average and 37 stolen bases. The UCLA alum was also a six-time All-Star. 

Five years after retiring, Robinson was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame his first time on the ballot. His No. 42 has been retired across MLB since 1997.


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