Friday, April 15, 2011
Happy Jackie Robinson Day
You don't have to be a Brooklyn/L.A. Dodgers fan to celebrate one of the game's greatest and most important players. On April 15, 1947, Jackie went 0-3 while playing 1B for Brooklyn against the Boston Braves, but scored the winning run. That year he finished with a .297 AVG, .383 OBP, 175 hits and a league-leading 29 steals to go along with 12 HR, plus he was named MLB's first Rookie of the Year, and the award is now named in his honor. The Dodgers would lose to the Yanks in the World Series that year, but Jackie would enjoy six pennants and, ultimately, one World Series ring in 1955 (every series being against New York, of course). He also won an MVP in 1949 and, of course, capped off all accolades with baseball's highest honor, entrance into the Hall of Fame, in 1962. Although he only played for 10 seasons, his career is forever etched in history, not just because of his trailblazing achievement, but on its own merit as well.
Much has been written about it (and hopefully more will be) but Jackie proved to be the right player, and more importantly the right person, to break baseball's indefensible color barrier. So as you're busting packs, trading or looking over your collection today, take a minute to remember one of baseball's all-time greats, and if you have one, throw on a #42 Robinson jersey like I did (and if you don't have one, go out and grab one!). Here's to #42, Jack Roosevelt Robinson.