Monday, 11 December, 2017

Dodgers pay tribute to Robinson anniversary with statue

Cairo Residents Host Event Celebrating Jackie Robinson's Legacy RetrOgrAde: In Honor of Jackie
Edmund Wade | 18 April, 2017, 01:00

Born January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, Jackie Robinson became the first black athlete to play Major League Baseball in the 20th century.

April 15, 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of Jackie's historic debut in the major leagues.

Each year on April 15, Major League Baseball celebrates the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson.

While the Dodgers will unveil a statue of the Hall of Fame second baseman and Major League Baseball trailblazer at their home stadium tonight, the Washington Nationals outfielder will wear cleats with images of Robinson emblazoned upon them, with some of his stats listed in adjacent white spaces. Also on hand was Robinson's 94-year-old widow, Rachel, as well as two of the couple's children, Sharon and David.

"My dad was a humble person", Sharon said. And I think that's just such a cool thing.

Robinson's journey to Brooklyn had one final stop after being signed in 1945 by Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey: a season in the minor leagues.

"It means to me that we talk about it every year [on] this day", Baker said, "but to me, no big deal, because every day is Jackie Robinson Day to me".

Sunday is the first full day baseball fans can view a new statue of Jackie Robinson at Dodger Stadium.

Campanis and Jackie Robinson were close friends until Robinson's death from a heart attack in 1972, their friendship dating to their days as Dodgers minor leaguers in Montreal in 1946. "It really links the Brooklyn Dodgers with the Los Angeles Dodgers". It's a chance to commemorate one of the key figures in American sports and those who fought alongside him to open doors for young baseball players with dreams of reaching the sport's highest level. He won the World Series with the Dodgers in 1955.

The end product is the result of the artist and the Robinsons working with the very unity Jackie embodied.

"A life is not important", one of the quotes reads, "except in the impact it has on other lives".

I do remember, though, when Robinson, only a few weeks after that appearance, succumbed to complications from heart disease and diabetes at age 53.

All the matching No. 42s running around - a tradition that began in 2009 - will be a reminder not only of Robinson but of the continuing movement for each of us to be more like him in other ways, too.

Ten years later, baseball commissioner Bud Selig announced on the 50th anniversary of Robinson's debut that his No. 42 would be retired throughout baseball.


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