Seventy years ago this Saturday, Jackie Robinson made history by breaking the Major League color barrier.
So here's a player, a Hall of Famer, a pioneer, an American icon whose impact remains so profound that he's still being celebrated with a current jersey number - 20 years after all of baseball retired 42. Many historians believe Robinson's breakthrough was an early step that eventually led to other civil rights breakthroughs. "Here it is, 70 years later and he's still being recognized".
Robinson attended UCLA from 1939-41 and was a four-sport athlete in baseball, track and field, basketball and football.
But, one day, he and his wife, Courtney, were watching the movie "42" - "For probably like the 100th time", Maybin said - when Robinson was depicted playing for a minor league team wearing No. 9. We watched the first games of Dwight Gooden when he joined the team the next year, and I called my dad from college when the Mets won the World Series a few years later.
According to a Dodgers press release, the statue will be located in the Left Field Reserve Plaza, which is already among the highest-traveled areas of the ballpark.
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"They really wanted me to get the likeness and I assured them I'd be working very hard on that", he said.
If there's one thing Major League Baseball has always done right, that is honoring the legacy of Jackie Robinson. Rachel, who is 94 years old, has remained active in promoting Jackie's legacy along with their children Sharon, David, and Jackie Jr.
The family shared numerous photos of Robinson with Cadet. Campanis also tutored Robinson on how to protect himself when opposing players tried to spike him, which happened more often because he was black.
Still, it's important to celebrate "Jackie Robinson Day" as both a tribute to a great American and a continuing reminder of a time when the game disgraced itself by keeping a large segment of our population from taking part in something that billed itself as the national pastime.