Commentary: Want to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day? Tell your son or daughter about him

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson circa 1945

(Hulton Archive / Getty Images)

Today is Jackie Robinson Day throughout baseball, celebrating the 69th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier and debuting with the Dodgers.

There’s nothing I can write here that will do justice to the legacy and greatness of Robinson, but here’s my suggestion on how to celebrate it. Make sure your kids know about Robinson and what he went through. I think the best way to honor Robinson is to make sure the next generation knows and understands why he is such an important figure in American history. 

Every Dodger will wear No. 42, Robinson’s number, during tonight’s game against the Giants.

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“Any time you put on that No. 42 jersey you feel a little bit more empowered and your chest sticks out a little and there is a little sense of pride,” Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts told ESPN. “I might even go with the high pants.”

"[Don] Newcombe was his roommate,” Roberts continued. “As much as he wants to talk about Jackie and his story, and what he went through, and Maury [Wills] sharing stories, Manny Mota, I’ll listen. Just to be back in a Dodgers uniform and in this capacity, to have these guys who I have known for a decade and sometimes even hear the same stories, that’s what’s great about it. It’s like it’s the first time I’ve ever heard them. But today will be a special day for sure.”

Even Kenta Maeda, who spent his whole career in Japan until this season, understands: 

“In Japan they actually show the No. 42 event,” Maeda said through an interpreter. “It’s actually big news in Japan that all the major league players wear No. 42. I’ve seen the No. 42 in use and know a little bit about Jackie Robinson, so I am looking forward to the opportunity of wearing No. 42.”


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