Jackie Robinson honored by MLB with 6th annual Jackie Robinson Day

By Peter Sblendorio

Staff Writer

Major League Baseball honored one of its most important ancestors today, deeming April 15 as “Jackie Robinson Day” across the leaguge.

The Jackie Robinson Day tradition began on April 15, 2004 to commemorate the career of Robinson, who integrated the MLB in 1947 by becoming the first African American player to play in the league. Jackie Robinson Day has been on April 15 each year since its institution, as Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.

Every player and coach wore Robinsons’ number 42 on their jersey as a tribute to the former Dodger, a number that was retired league wide by the MLB as a show of respect towards baseball’s integrator. Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, who was an active player when the number was  retired league wide, will be the last player to ever wear number 42 on a regular basis in the MLB.

Twenty-four teams played on Jackie Robinson Day, and players on the other six MLB teams will wear number 42 on a different date in April due to having a scheduled off day on April 15.

Appropriately, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, who was named after Jackie Robinson, hit two home runs on Jackie Robinson Day.

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