Jackie Robinson Day 2014: How Sports World Is Honoring MLB Icon

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent IApril 15, 2014

May 10, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of the retired jersey number 42 of Jackie Robinson (not pictured) at the top deck at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Jackie Robinson made history with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, by breaking Major League Baseball's color barrier. And ever since 2004, the baseball community has gathered on that day each year to pay homage to Robinson's courage.

SportsCenter on Twitter provides a glimpse back in time:

On Tuesday, the 67th anniversary of Robinson's breakthrough, the league celebrated Jackie Robinson Day with a league-wide commemoration for the beloved pioneer. To honor Robinson, every player in action on Tuesday will wear a No. 42 jersey.

MLB commissioner Bud Selig praised Robinson's lasting legacy and impact on the game, via MLB.com:

Jackie Robinson is an American icon whose accomplishments and leadership continue to inspire us in Baseball and our society at large. Major League Baseball proudly celebrates his enduring legacy, which is reflected by extraordinary on-field diversity of players from all backgrounds, enthusiastic participation in youth baseball and softball, and proven results in diverse business efforts.

But Selig wasn't alone in paying tribute to Robinson on this momentous date.

The MLB's official Twitter account posted a series of tweets highlighting the significance of Robinson's achievement, including a tribute to his famous jersey number:

Adding to the Robinson mystique is the fact there are no players sporting the iconic No. 42 jersey in 2014, per MLB on Twitter:

The league also made sure to note Robinson's stellar career:

Prior to earning MLB Rookie of the Year honors in 1947, Robinson was putting his athletic talents on display at UCLA, where he participated in football, basketball and track, in addition to baseball:

The New York Yankees, who defeated Robinson's Dodgers in the 1947 World Series, had been planning a pregame ceremony to honor Robinson and recently deceased former South African President Nelson Mandela prior to Tuesday's game against the Chicago Cubs. However, they were forced to postpone the event until Wednesday afternoon because of rain:

The Yankees will play a double-header with the Cubs on Wednesday.

Fox Sports MLB reporter Ken Rosenthal reported that the Empire State Building would be lit "Dodger Blue" in Robinson's honor on Tuesday:

The Dodgers shared this collection of images of Robinson on their Instagram account:

The MLB Network on Twitter provided a behind-the-scenes look at their never-ending tribute to Robinson:

ESPN baseball writer Buster Olney tweeted one of Robinson's most famous quotes and a recap of Robinson's debut game against the Boston Braves:

Sports Photos on Twitter also went back in time, providing a rare look at Robinson signing his contract with Brooklyn just five days before he broke the color barrier:

Renowned baseball writer Peter Gammons even suggested April 15 be made a holiday:

Sports Illustrated senior writer Grant Wahl pointed out other events that have given Jackie Robinson Day added significance in recent years:

Jackie Robinson Day will always be a day of remembrance among those in the sports world. However, Robinson's legacy and impact extends well beyond the diamond. 

Robinson's courage not only brought about ground-breaking change and inspired others, but it also paved the way for countless African-American athletes and helped spur the Civil Rights Movement in the decades to follow.

As a result, April 15 will always be a monumental date in American history, and MLB has made it a tradition to recognize that in so many ways. 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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