LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The Los Angeles Dodgers, along with the rest of Major League Baseball, celebrated Jackie Robinson Day Monday, exactly 66 years after he shattered the sport’s racial barrier.
Jackie’s widow, Rachel, his daughter Sharon and son David all attended the game and pregame ceremony starting at 6:50 p.m. at Dodger Stadium.
During the ceremony, which included a special tribute video, two of Robinson’s teammates, 1956 National League MVP and Cy Young Award winner Don Newcombe, and the late Hall of Fame catcher Roy Campanella, were honored by the Dodgers.
Robinson, a Pasadena native, attended Muir High School, Pasadena City College and UCLA. He made his major league debut on April 15, 1947 as the Brooklyn Dodgers’ first baseman.
“I got a chance to be a part of this historic change in the civil rights movement,” Newcombe said. “It was all because of Jackie Robinson because if Jackie failed all of this wouldn’t be going on, and Jackie made that happen.”
All Major League Baseball players wore Robinson’s number “42” on their jerseys Monday. In 1997, on the 50th anniversary of Robinson’s first day in the big leagues, “42″ became the only number to be retired across all MLB.
At Dodger Stadium, there were “42” logos on the pitching mound, dugouts, near the foul poles and baselines. All uniformed personnel for both teams wore it as well.
Harrison Ford, who plays Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey in the recently released film on Robinson, “42”, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
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