Jackie Robinson Day 2012: How Sports World is Honoring MLB Icon

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 15:  Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers (R, wearing #42) laughs with Don Newcombe, former Brooklyn Dodgers teammate of Jackie Robinson, before the game with the St. Louis Cardinals as Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day on April 15, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Jackie Robinson Day is a truly special day for baseball, a chance to honor the man who broke Major League Baseball's color barrier in 1947.

The MLB will honor Robinson by having all players, coaches and umpires wear Robinson's No. 42 today. But I was curious to see how the sports world would honor the great man on Twitter, so I've compiled some tweets from the day.

Jackie Robinson truly was one of the most special baseball players, and men, our country has seen. Remembering and honoring his legacy is the least we can all do.

ESPN's John Buccigross reminds us just how talented Robinson was with a few of his career highlights and marks:

Today is 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s MLB Debut (1947)..Rookie of Year in 1947..Won 1949 NL MVP.. Career .311 BA..Hall of Famer

— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) April 15, 2012

Dee Gordon of the Los Angeles Dodgers had four free tickets to the Dodgers game on Sunday for anyone who could answer his Jackie Robinson trivia question:

On opening day 1947, what was different about Jackie Roninson's uniform compared to the others in the starting lineup? #FreeTIX #tweetblue

— Dee Gordon (@skinnyswag9) April 14, 2012

The answer was Jackie had a zipper on his jersey and the others all had buttons

— Dee Gordon (@skinnyswag9) April 14, 2012
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Bomani Jones has some required reading for you:

on this here jackie robinson day, i encourage you to read this passage from his autobiography: is.gd/C6kQMc

— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) April 15, 2012

As Kate Scott (and Kostya Kennedy) reminds us, Robinson didn't face his burden alone. His wife, Rachel Robinson, supported him and has helped to keep his legacy as powerful and cherished as it deserves to be:

Happy Jackie Robinson Day, all! In honor of #42, get to know a little more about the woman keeping his legacy alive: tinyurl.com/86sqgfn

— Kate Scott (@katetscott) April 15, 2012

The MLB's Twitter account reminds us of a few of the amazing players Robinson paved the way for:

Before Kemp. Before Gwynn. Before Aaron. Before Mays. There was Jackie. Today we celebrate Jackie Robinson Day: atmlb.com/IWMpOJ #42

— MLB (@MLB) April 15, 2012

Darren Rovell has a picture of the commemorative Nike cleats that Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves and Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles will be sporting to honor Robinson, in the colors of UCLA, where Robinson was a four-sport athlete:

Check out the shoes Adam Jones & Jason Heyward are wearing to honor Jackie tomorrow (@A1exCohen) say.ly/pgH359w

— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) April 15, 2012

The Atlanta Braves' Twitter account (and countless others) recounts a Robinson quote that perfectly encapsulated his own life:

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."Jackie Robinson

— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 15, 2012

Doug Glanville wraps things up well:

65 years ago Jackie Robinson made his debut for the Brooklyn #DodgersHistory was made, changed, and rewritten. Let's remember.

— Doug Glanville (@dougglanville) April 15, 2012

So often, we have to remind ourselves to keep perspective on sports and the true meaning of these games. Generally, they should be viewed as just that—games. A form of entertainment. A nice way to spend a lazy afternoon on a Sunday.

But sometimes, sports have the power to affect deep, societal change. They can be the place where progress occurs, where people of all races, cultures, religions and lifestyles can come together under a unified goal—to win a game, or to root on the men and women trying to do so.

Jackie Robinson is an enduring symbol for the importance of accepting all people, of giving everyone a fair chance.

He should not only be remembered for the incredible sacrifice and burden he endured so that African-Americans could be accepted into Major League Baseball, but as a reminder that we all deserve equal treatment, that we're all human and that certain rights truly are inalienable for us all.

Thank you, Jackie Robinson. We will not forget.

Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets light the lamp like the Flyers forwards.

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