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Robinson’s ‘power, braveness’ hailed throughout MLB

Associated Press Apr 15, 2024, 09:47 PM ET LOS ANGELES — Major League Baseball marked the 77th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the sport’s color barrier on Monday. Robinson started at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, marking the end of the racial segregation that had relegated Black players to the

Robinson’s ‘power, braveness’ hailed throughout MLB

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Apr 15, 2024, 09:47 PM ET

LOS ANGELES — Main League Baseball marked the 77th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the game’s colour barrier on Monday.

Robinson began at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, marking the tip of the racial segregation that had relegated Black gamers to the Negro Leagues for many years.

“Jackie Robinson turned probably the most vilified, focused topic of verbal abuse and malicious therapy within the sports activities area since Jack Johnson had the audacity to turn into heavyweight champion of the world in 1908,” sociologist and civil rights activist Harry Edwards mentioned at Dodger Stadium. “Like Jack Johnson, Jackie Robinson stood alone.”

Members of Robinson’s household, together with his 101-year-old widow, had been at ballparks from coast to coast to honor him.

At New York’s Citi Area, Rachel Robinson rode in a golf cart to the Mets dugout, the place she was given flowers by supervisor Carlos Mendoza and retired gamers Mookie Wilson and Butch Huskey — the final Met to put on Robinson’s No. 42.

“She’s the legacy of perseverance,” mentioned David Robinson, the youngest son of Jackie and Rachel Robinson.

The Robinson household is in attendance for a really big day 💙 #Jackie42

— New York Mets (@Mets) April 15, 2024

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Each staff taking part in Monday wore No. 42 jerseys.

Robinson’s life story is especially poignant to the Dodgers’ Dave Roberts, the primary supervisor of Asian heritage and second Black supervisor to guide a staff to a World Collection title.

“He had an enormous burden in his life to be knowledgeable baseball participant however to tackle all this negativity, this hate in the direction of him, his spouse, his children, and nonetheless persevere,” Roberts mentioned.

Gamers and workers from the Dodgers, together with Shohei Ohtani, and the Washington Nationals surrounded Robinson’s statue in Centerfield Plaza hours earlier than recreation time in Los Angeles.

“I am unable to say sufficient of what Jackie Robinson’s meant to not solely the Black neighborhood however the Hispanic neighborhood, as properly,” Nationals supervisor Dave Martinez advised the group. “He opened the doorways for a lot of, many nice gamers, he actually did, and he modified the lives of many, together with myself. I do not know if I’d be right here if it wasn’t for Jackie. My idol Roberto Clemente undoubtedly, in all probability, would not have been round.”

“He exemplifies what it means to have power, braveness and keenness,” Martinez mentioned of Robinson.

Reggie Smith, who by no means performed on a dropping staff in his 13-year MLB profession, recalled nervously talking to Robinson after they had been on the identical flight from Los Angeles to the East Coast. Smith launched himself and mentioned Robinson advised him, “I do know who you might be, and I do know what you stand for.”

“That meant a lot to me,” Smith advised the gamers. “Each time there was injustice on that ballfield of any variety, I’d communicate up as a result of he gave me the braveness to have the ability to do this.”

The Dodgers and Nationals additionally had been joined by Ayo Robinson, a granddaughter of Jackie and Rachel Robinson who was born after Jackie’s loss of life in 1972. Her father is David Robinson.

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“I absorb my grandfather by way of the expertise of others,” she mentioned after the ceremony. “The truth that he’s nonetheless so impactful in our society at this time means so much to me as an individual, however it means so much to me as an American, as properly.”

Smith urged at this time’s MLB gamers to recollect Jackie Robinson and his travails, which included being barred from motels and eating places due to his pores and skin colour in addition to on-field verbal abuse from followers and opposing groups.

“Preserve it in thoughts in order that this recreation can proceed to maneuver ahead the way in which that it has during the last years,” Smith mentioned, “and be grateful that you simply’re right here and also you’re capable of do the issues that you simply do day in and time out.”

In associated information, former Nationwide League Cy Younger Award winner Orel Hershiser, the 1988 World Collection MVP for the Dodgers, has bought a portray titled “Grace” that depicts Robinson praying round a dinner desk with Martin Luther King Jr. and former Dodgers greats Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe.

Hershiser plans to maintain the portray at its present dwelling, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas Metropolis, Missouri.

“I am honored to be its proprietor,” he mentioned in a press release. “It marks a vital historic time, and you will need to maintain this piece the place folks can find out about this second.”

Artist Dave Hobrecht donated his portray for show on the museum in 2020, however the picket canvas was broken throughout cargo, leading to a crack that fully indifferent the underside portion of the picture from the remaining.

Hobrecht and museum president Bob Kendrick determined to reframe the piece and maintain it the way in which it arrived.

“Not having a breakable spirit, that is Jackie Robinson,” Kendrick mentioned within the assertion. “We determined to unveil it with the harm and that it could be a metaphor that fantastically captures what Jackie was all about.”

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