The late Brooklyn Dodger great is being awarded the Congressional Gold Medal Wednesday in a ceremony to be attended by his wife Rachel and President George W. Bush.
The ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda is meant as a culmination of Black History Month. It honors not only Robinson's becoming the first black player in the big leagues in 1947, but a lifetime spent opposing race discrimination.
His son, David Robinson, told the Associated Press that his father's feat translated beyond the sporting world and helped change American society as well.
After the ceremony, Mr. Bush is returning to the White House so he can host baseball's world champion Boston Red Sox.
Robinson is only the second baseball player to get the Congressional Gold Medal. The other was Roberto Clemente. In 1984, Robinson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan.