Monday, April 15, 2013

Celebrating another "Opening Day"

Opening Day for the 2013 Major League baseball season was two weeks ago.  However, another opening day will be celebrated before all the games today.  On this date in 1947, Jackie Robinson took the field in a Brooklyn Dodger uniform to become the first African American in the 20th Century to play Major League baseball.  Since 2008, Major League Baseball has designated April 15 as “Jackie Robinson Day”.  All Major League players in today’s scheduled games will wear the number “42” on the back of their uniforms in recognition of Robinson.  There will also be a ceremony before each game honoring him for breaking down baseball’s racial barriers.

Playing first base that day at Brooklyn's Ebbets Field against the Boston Braves, Robinson scored one run in the Dodgers’  5 - 3 victory.  Johnny Sain was Boston’s starting pitcher.   Robinson grounded out to third base in the First Inning, flied out to left field in the Third Inning, and reached base due to an error by the Braves’ first baseman in the Seventh Inning; later scoring a run. 

At season end, Robinson was third in team batting, .297.  He led the National League in sacrifice hits (28), stolen bases (29), and was named the league’s “Rookie of the Year”.  He was instrumental in helping the Dodgers win the pennant that year, but they lost the World Series to Joe DiMaggio and the New York Yankees four games to three. 

What do you remember about Jackie Robinson?

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