Jackie Robinson Day has extra special meaning to Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts

Rachel Robinson, Dave Roberts

Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts greets Rachel Robinson during a pregame ceremony on Jackie Robinson Day.

(Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty Images)

Dave Roberts crouched behind home plate to catch the first pitch on Friday evening from Frank Robinson, a trailblazer in his own right, as the Dodgers celebrated Jackie Robinson Day.

In 1975, Frank Robinson became the game’s first African American manager. Roberts, the son of an African American father and a Japanese mother, is the first minority manager in Dodgers history.

Before the game, Roberts met with Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s widow, and Sharon Robinson, his daughter. Magic Johnson, part of the Dodgers ownership, escorted Rachel Robinson onto the field.

To commemorate the anniversary of Robinson’s debut in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, every player and coach across the league wore Robinson’s retired No. 42. Roberts has hoarded the various No. 42 jerseys he wore as a player and coach during his career.


Roberts admitted the day held special significance for him.

“I kind of look at every game the same [way],” Roberts said. “But today I’ll take numerous moments to reflect on the impact that Jackie made. Not only for me, but for everyone in the game.”

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