10 iconic photos to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day

Cairo Residents Host Event Celebrating Jackie Robinson's Legacy

This is an April 18, 1948, portrait of Brooklyn Dodgers baseball player Jackie Robinson.

Though Major League Baseball is celebrating the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's inaugural game, the current rosters are said to be less integrated than they have been in decades. With every player wearing his iconic No. 42 on Saturday, many players voiced their support for the legend before taking the field.

Washington Nationals' manager Dusty Baker was born on June 15, 1949, two years and two months after the day Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier by becoming the first African-American to play in a Major League Baseball game on April 15, 1947. The statue depicts Robinson stealing home as a rookie with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, a nod to the aggressive baserunning of the six-time All-Star.

Robinson's widow, Rachel Robinson, also attended as did his children Sharon and David along with team president Stan Kasten and Johnson. Never much a fanboy, I nevertheless walked up to Strawberry, who had a pair of Beats headphones on his ears, just to shake his hand.

On the statue's granite base are three of Robinson's quotes as chosen by the family, including wife Rachel's favorite: "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives". The tradition continues Saturday on the 70th anniversary of the monumental moment.

After all the lovely words had been spoken, the blue curtain raised, and the majestic statue of Jackie Robinson unveiled, his daughter reflected on a day she called powerful and inspirational.

This will be the first statue at Dodger Stadium, which opened in 1962 and has been home to four World Series champions.

Obviously, the issues of race and prejudice do not lend themselves to easy answers or simple solutions, and even the role that Campanis played in delivering a shock to baseball's exclusionary front-office hiring practices illustrates the complexity of those issues. And the reason the the Martin Luther King's of the world could continue the fight, is no small part to the existence of a Jackie Robinson. More than 40 years later I realize why Robinson mattered so much to my dad, because he was a symbol of the possibilities that were ahead, not for him, but his young son. It wasn't timelessness that brought us Jackie Robinson. Today marks the 13th annual celebration of Robinson's historic debut with players around the game sporting his number 42 on their backs.

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