PASADENA (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles City Council celebrated the 12th annual “Jackie Robinson Day” Friday three days before the 66th anniversary of when the pioneering baseball legend shattered the sport’s racial barrier.
“42″, a film starring Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford that chronicles the life of Robinson, also opened Friday in anticipation of the April 15, 1947, anniversary when he became the first black man to play in the major leagues since the 1880s.
Former Los Angeles Dodger outfielders Tommy Davis and Lou Johnson, members of Robinson’s family, John Young, founder of Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, and representatives of the Jackie Robinson Foundation were on hand at City Hall to receive the proclamation from Councilman Tom LaBonge at the City Council meeting.
KNX 1070′s Jon Baird reports Robinson — who was raised in Pasadena and attended John Muir High School, Pasadena City College and UCLA — lead the Brooklyn Dodgers to six National League championships and their only World Series championship in 1955.
Dodgers legend Don Newcombe and former teammate told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO that Robinson faced seemingly insurmountable racial attitudes that ultimately made him a catalyst for civil rights advances years later.
“We had many things we had to deal with, not only on the field and in the clubhouse and with our own teammates, and then with the opposing teammates,” Newcombe said. “When we got off the field and we went to hotels, we couldn’t stay at the same hotel.”
The Los Angeles Dodgers will join the rest of Major League Baseball to commemorate Jackie Robinson Day at Monday’s game against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium. Robinson’s widow, Rachel, his daughter, Sharon, and son, David, scheduled to be in attendance.
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