City Council Declares Jackie Robinson Day
April 11 is now Jackie Robinson Day, according to the Los Angeles City Council.
The day will honor the 65th anniversary of Robinson’s breaking baseball’s color barrier.
City Councilman Tom LaBonge invited former Los Angeles Dodgers greats Maury Wills and Tommy Davis as well as Robinson’s relative and officials of the Jackie Robinson foundation to the City Council meeting to discuss Robinson’s achievement of terminating racial segregation in professional baseball.
Robinson’s “strong back” urged baseball fans to become, “a great melting pot of races and cultures celebrating the sport,” said City Councilman Ed Reyes, whose district includes Dodger Stadium.
The momentous day came on April 15, 1947. Robinson was hit-less in four at-bats, but scored the winning run for the Brooklyn Dodgers in front of a crowd of 25,623. He also scored years of acceptance for African-American ballplayers in the league.
His integration into Major League Baseball served as a catalyst for civil rights advances.
Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers for all 10 of his seasons in the league. He led them to six National League championships and their only World Series championship in 1955.
“Baseball is a curious anomaly in American life. It seems to have been ingrained in people in their childhood...Baseball is, after all, a boy's game, and children are innocent of evil. So even adults who are prejudiced revert to their childhood when they encounter a baseball player and they react with the purity of little children," Robinson said.
The MLB tweeted, “Jackie’s Day: All players and on-field personnel will once again wear #42 in recognition of Jackie Robinson Day on Sunday, April 15.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.