Jackie Robinson Day, the annual recognition of the former Brooklyn Dodgers superstar breaking baseball's color barrier in 1947, moved forward Wednesday despite the MLB season being delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The lack of games prevented the usual tradition of players wearing Robinson's No. 42 on their jerseys to celebrate the occasion, but the league, teams and today's stars still honored the Hall of Famer for his critical contribution to baseball and society as a whole.
Here's a look at some of the reaction:
Jackie Robinson Foundation @JRFoundation
On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American player in @MLB when he stepped onto Ebbets Field to compete for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Today, we celebrate an American hero and civil rights icon whose legacy endures on and off the field. #JackieRobinsonDay https://t.co/TyWgEXvBW9
Washington Nationals @Nationals
Jackie Robinson changed baseball forever. Jackie was a Hall of Fame player, person and pioneer to usher in a new era of baseball; one that promoted inclusion. We're physically apart today, but we stand together for Jackie Robinson. Thank you, Jackie. #Jackie42 https://t.co/BMz1mQzrwC
ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo
On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking Major League Baseball’s long-standing color barrier. Robinson was 0-3 in the game, but his run in the 7th inning proved to be the game-winner. He went on to win 1947 Rookie of the Year. https://t.co/NUbRQjAX5O
Sharon Robinson, Jackie's daughter, told Bill Ladson of MLB.com her father's ambitions went beyond baseball and that he continued his work after retirement.
"At the dinner table, the focus was on the Civil Rights Movement," she said. "So when he retired from baseball, he was excited to participate in the Civil Rights Movement in a different kind of way. It was built into his contract with Chock full o'Nuts [a coffee brand that employed Robinson as vice president after his retirement from baseball] that he could spend as much time as needed with the Civil Rights Movement."
MLB will air a special 1955 World Series film on YouTube at 7 p.m. ET featuring the second baseman and his Dodgers taking on the New York Yankees in the Fall Classic. Brooklyn won the series in seven games.
Robinson died in 1972 at the age of 53. Jackie Robinson Day was established in 2004 to honor his legacy.