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Jackie Robinson Day 2017: How Sports World Is Honoring MLB Icon

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 15, 2017

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 15:  Arizona Diamondbacks players line up for the national anthem before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on April 15, 2016 in San Diego, California.  All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day.(Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Major League Baseball has celebrated Jackie Robinson Day since 2004 to honor the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer's breaking of the sport's color barrier. The tradition continues Saturday on the 70th anniversary of the monumental moment.

As has been the case since 2009, every player, manager, coach and umpire in MLB will wear the retired No. 42 to celebrate Robinson, the 1949 National League Most Valuable Player.

Mark Newman of MLB.com noted the epicenter of the celebration will be Los Angeles, where the Dodgers are planning to display a new statue of Robinson at Dodger Stadium. His wife, children and numerous team legends will be on hand for the ceremony.

Arash Markazi of ESPN.com provided a look at a replica of the statue that fans in attendance for the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks will receive:

Arash Markazi @ArashMarkazi

This Jackie Robinson statue replica will be given away at Dodger Stadium on April 15 – Jackie Robinson Day. https://t.co/xSD58cqJaU

Sharon Robinson, who's helped carry her father's legacy since his death in 1972, spoke with MLB Network about the day's festivities:

MLB Network @MLBNetwork

.@sharonarobinson joined #MLBCentral to discuss the celebration of Jackie Robinson Day! #Jackie42 https://t.co/YVR25Rp0zx

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Saturday will also mark the start of a renewed effort to give people from every background a chance to play the sport with help from Little League International, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities and other baseball-focused organizations, per MLB.com:

In memory of Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball is committed to making our sport accessible and inclusive for all those who want to play, coach or participate. MLB and USA Baseball have listened to the growing demand for girls' and women's baseball by launching this unprecedented event. We will be proud to do so on the most meaningful date on our calendar, Jackie Robinson Day, at our Youth Academy in Compton. It is our honor to support trailblazing young women who will be outstanding representatives of their communities.

The Players' Tribune‏ posted a video featuring Chicago Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward as well as Dodgers teammates Adrian Gonzalez and Joc Pederson talking about the importance of equality, both on and off the baseball diamond:

The Players' Tribune @PlayersTribune

The game never forgets. Thank you No. 42. #JackieRobinsonDay https://t.co/aRwklCpiUg

Meanwhile, the Major League Baseball Players Association announced it will donate a fitting $42,000 from the Players Trust to the Jackie Robinson Foundation for the second straight year.

The foundation focuses on a "commitment to equal opportunity by addressing the achievement gap in higher education," according to its website.

Along with sporting No. 42, some players will also don special pieces of memorabilia during the day's games.

Paul Murphy of Adidas spotlighted the company's special cleats:

PabloMurphy® @PabloMurphy

.@adidas creates special edition cleats to honor Jackie Robinson & celebrate #JackieRobinsonDay on 4/15 https://t.co/fD9su04tb5 #teamadidas https://t.co/M8Gi4cFmPW

B/R Kicks highlighted some other gear from Nike Baseball:

B/R Kicks @brkicks

Nike and @nikebaseball athletes celebrate Jackie Robinson Day with Equality + 42 shirts https://t.co/TKh8qww0qA

All told, Jackie Robinson Day has become one of the most important dates on the MLB calendar. It's a chance to commemorate one of the key figures in American sports and those who fought alongside him to open doors for young baseball players with dreams of reaching the sport's highest level.