Watch CBS News

Dodgers, MLB celebrate Jackie Robinson Day

Dodgers celebrate Jackie Robinson Day
Dodgers celebrate Jackie Robinson Day 03:01

Major League Baseball is celebrating the 77th anniversary of the day that Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier when he became the first Black man to take the field for any team in the league on April 15, 1947. 

Robinson played his entire major league career with the Dodgers when they were located in Brooklyn. As such, the current team and their opponent on Monday, the Washington Nationals, will gather at the statue honoring Robinson in Dodger Stadium's Centerfield Plaza. 

Los Angeles Dodgers Introduce Yoshinobu Yamamoto
The Jackie Robinson statue at the Dodger Stadium Centerfield Plaza. / Getty Images

They will be joined by Robinson's granddaughter, Ayo Robinson, civil rights activist Harry Edwards and Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars at what the Dodgers call a "team reflection."

The Jackie Robinson Foundation was founded in 1973 by his wife Rachel Robinson, the year after he died at the age of 53. They provide four-year college scholarships to students of colors who have been at a disadvantage during their young lives. 

Dodgers players and coaches have gathered at the statue every year since 2021 to listen to manager Dave Roberts talk about Robinson and his lasting legacy. Last season was the first that they were joined by their opponent, which came by request from the Chicago Cubs. 

Current Dodger Jason Heyward spoke at the gathering last season, his first year with the Boys in Blue. 

"I just can never stop imagining what Jackie had to go on a daily basis when he had it continuously thrown in his face that he was different," he said. "He made no excuses and wanted to get this mission done."

The Dodgers will play a video project titled "Dear Rachel," prior to the start of game time during a pregame ceremony honoring Robinson. The video will show a number of recordings from influential people across sports, politics, entertainment and the Dodgers organization as they relay the impact that he had on their lives. 

Across MLB, players and coaches will sport the No. 42 to Robinson, a tradition dating back to 2009. The number, regardless of team, is Dodger blue. Additionally, teams will wear caps that had a "42" patch on the side. 

Major League Baseball retired Robinson's number in 1997 across the league on the 50th anniversary of his debut. It remains the only number that has been retired across the entire league. 

Robinson was born in Georgia but raised in Pasadena where he attended Muir High School before heading on to Pasadena City College and UCLA. He was known for his prowess at nearly every sport, including basketball, football and track and field. 

He served in the United States Army for two years during World War II before he was honorably discharged. 

His lasting legacy continues to impact generations of baseball fans and activists alike. His story has become a common basis for recreation, most recently in 2013 when he was portrayed by Chadwick Boseman in the acclaimed film "42."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.