Jackie Robinson Day: Honoring No. 42

69 years ago Jackie Robinson stepped out on the field and broke the color barriers in the world of professional baseball.

By Pari Heidari, Larry King Now

On April 15, 1947, Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson, made his first season debut in Major League Baseball.

Robinson became the first African-American to play in the Major Leagues and we honor his exceptional career by celebrating Jackie Robinson Day each year on April 15. 

Robinson played most of his career for the Brooklyn Dodgers (known today as the LA Dodgers) and received numerous awards in recognition of his talents during his ten years as a professional baseball player.  In his first year playing in the MLB, he was awarded the Rookie of the Year Award.  He also made the All-Star cut for six seasons straight (from 1949 to 1954) and was admitted to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.  In 1949, Robinson became the first black player to win the National League MVP Award

On Jackie Robinson Day, players, coaches and managers of both playing teams as well as the umpires, will sport a No. 42 on their jerseys.  Robinson's jersey number was officially retired in 1997, making him the first athlete in any sport to receive such an honor. 

Today, LA Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will experience his first Jackie Robinson Day as the man in charge.  The first African-American Dodger's manager, Robert's admitted "Jackie's" career and success had impacted him.

“I think that I am a little bit, to a fault, not taking certain moments in, but I think I will make a conscious effort [Friday] to understand and take in the scope and the magnitude,” Roberts told ESPN . “It’s a big deal. Jackie has obviously impacted me and many others. I think that I’m going to take some extra time to reflect for sure.”

Watch when Larry met up with Gary Cypres, the owner of Sports Museum of Los Angeles, to discuss one of baseball's most controversial plays-- when Jackie Robinson stole home in the 1955 World Series versus the Yankees.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

Continue the Discussion