It’s Jackie Robinson Day on Wednesday. Here’s how you can watch him play
The traditional Jackie Robinson Day observance goes like this: On the anniversary of that 1947 day Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier, every player in the major leagues wears Robinson’s No. 42. There are ceremonies and commemorations at all the ballparks, followed by games.
On this April 15, no games will be played. So, instead of watching present-day stars, Major League Baseball dug into its archives to present Robinson himself.
On Wednesday, the league’s website will air a vintage highlight video of the 1955 World Series. On the eve of his retirement in 2016, Vin Scully said the favorite call of his career was the one in which he said Brooklyn finally had won the World Series.
“I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been present at a lot of great events,” Scully said then. “I think, because I was so much younger and more impressionable and vulnerable to emotion, it was when the Brooklyn Dodgers won their only world championship.
“I had felt the frustration. I had known these players all those years. Plus, I was 25 years old.
“There have been [Kirk] Gibson and [Hank] Aaron and all, down the line. But that’s probably the one I’ll remember the most.”
With no opening-day Major League Baseball games to tune into Thursday, here are the best Dodgers and Angels videos on YouTube.
Robinson had played in all but the 1941 series. In 1955, he and the Brooklyn teammates immortalized as “The Boys of Summer” finally defeated the Yankees.
The highlight video enables fans to watch Robinson and a cast of Dodgers legends: Roy Campanella and Pee Wee Reese; Don Newcombe and Johnny Podres; Carl Furillo and Duke Snider. In the first game of the series, Robinson executes a fabled steal of home plate. In another, he alertly takes an extra base, prompting the announcer to salute Robinson for “flashing his old-time baseline daring.”
Robinson, 36 years old and nearing the end of his career, batted .182 in the series. He did not play in the decisive Game 7.
The black-and-white video is a testament to baseball 65 years ago: fans wearing shirts and ties; umpires wearing ties; players not wearing their names on their uniforms or batting gloves on their hands. The outfield signs include “No Betting,” “Hit Sign Win Suit,” and “Send Your Boy to Dodgertown Camp, Vero Beach, Florida, for the Summer of His Life.”
The Dodgers and Angels are not refunding tickets at this time, following the guidance of Major League Baseball. Neither is StubHub. Fans are outraged.
On Oct. 4, 1955, Scully uttered the long-awaited magic words.
“For one great big moment, to be able to say — in fact, I said, on the last out — ‘Ladies and gentlemen, the Brooklyn Dodgers are the champions of the world.’ And I never said another word,” Scully said.
“And all that winter, people would say, ’How could you have been so calm?’ And the answer was, I wasn’t calm. I could not have said another word without starting to cry. It was that emotional for me, knowing all these players and how they had missed in so many years.”
The 1955 World Series video is scheduled to air Wednesday at 8 a.m. PT on MLB.com and at 4 p.m. PT on MLB social media channels. The announcer, unfortunately, is not Scully.
Dodgers historian Mark Langill said there is no known recording of Scully’s call of that last out.
“Sadly, it’s his memory,” Langill said. “The call wasn’t preserved.”
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