May 25, 2022

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Jackie Robinson Day 2022: How the Sports World Is Honoring MLB Icon | Bleacher Report

Courtesy of MLB via AP

As the MLB lockout began to threaten
the early portion of the 2022 schedule, one of the biggest concerns
was the celebration of Jackie Robinson Day, which takes place every
April 15 to honor the legacy of the man who broke the league’s color
barrier.

Every year, players around MLB wear No.
42 in memory of Robinson, who played the first game of his Hall of
Fame career April 15, 1947. This year’s event carried extra
meaning as the 75th anniversary of his groundbreaking achievement.

MLB @MLB

42 is more than a number. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jackie42?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Jackie42</a> <a href=”https://t.co/TYNaFAY2cz”>pic.twitter.com/TYNaFAY2cz</a>

The league and the Players Association reached an agreement on a new collective bargaining
agreement after 99 days, which ensured Jackie Robinson Day would take
center stage once again Friday.

Former President Barack Obama honored
Robinson, who died in 1972:

Longtime MLB outfielder Doug Glanville,
who now works as an ESPN analyst, discussed the importance of making
sure Robinson’s story continues to get passed down to future
generations.

“It is one of the greatest American
stories ever, but like any story, with time, it can fade,” Granville wrote in an article published Friday. “A big step in sustaining it is sharing it with
children young enough to be his great-great-grandchildren.”

The league teamed with New York City,
where Robinson played his entire MLB career as a member of the
Brooklyn Dodgers, to kick off the celebration Friday morning by
renaming 42nd Street as Jackie Robinson Way for the day:

MLB @MLB

Today, 42nd Street belongs to Jackie. <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jackie42?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Jackie42</a> <a href=”https://t.co/GQKJBakAcR”>pic.twitter.com/GQKJBakAcR</a>

The New York Mets and Arizona
Diamondbacks, who played the day’s first game, both highlighted their
jerseys for the occasion:

All the uniforms Friday featured the
No. 42 in Dodger Blue regardless of the team’s color scheme as a
special tribute on the 75th anniversary.

Here’s a look at some other celebrations and memories of Robinson from around MLB, the sports world and the internet:

Robinson won the 1947 MLB Rookie
of the Year and the 1949 National League MVP awards, and he earned six All-Star
selections during a decorated career that also included capturing the
1955 World Series championship with the Dodgers.

The Georgia native, who served in the
U.S. Army before his baseball career, continued to advocate for
racial equality after his playing career ended in 1956.

He made a speech before throwing out
the first pitch of Game 2 of the 1972 World Series, less than two
weeks before his death from a heart attack at the age of 53.

“I am extremely proud and pleased to
be here this afternoon, but must admit I’m going to be tremendously
more pleased and more proud if I look at that third-base coaching
line one day and see a Black face managing in baseball,” Robinson
said.

In 1975, Cleveland hired
Frank Robinson as MLB’s first Black manager. But nearly five decades
later, the 2022 season opened with just two Black managers: the
Houston Astros’ Dusty Baker and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Dave
Roberts.

It highlights the need for continued
work to honor Jackie Robinson’s legacy in the years ahead.