04/15/10 11:30 PM ET
Jackie's legacy remembered around MLB
Players, coaches, umpires wearing Robinson's legendary No. 42
By Barry M. Bloom / MLB.com
Cleveland: Prior to their 3-2 victory over the Rangers at Progressive Field, the Indians played a video on the left-field scoreboard that honored Robinson's life and career. The Tribe also invited four local minority business owners -- Renee Deluca Dolan of CDG, Barb Hoover of Fine Line Communications, Jim Groh of Brilliant Sign and David Walter of Industrial Video -- on the field for a pregame ceremony. "This is his day," Indians pitcher Tony Sipp said. "We're paying homage to what he did and the sacrifices he made. It definitely feel inspired to make the best of my opportunity because of him."Denver: At Coors Field, where the Mets defeated the Rockies, 5-0, former Rockies manager and current hitting coach Don Baylor couldn't help but recognize the significance of the day. "I always try to put myself in his position," Baylor said about Robinson. "I had to integrate an all-white school when I was in the seventh grade. Man, that was tough. So I can imagine trying to play professional baseball at the level that he played at. He's pretty special to me, what he accomplished and what he had to go through."
Los Angeles: The Dodgers always ask to be home on Jackie Robinson Day, and this was no different as they played the D-backs at Dodger Stadium. Their pre-game ceremony included a first pitch from Don Newcombe to Matt Kemp. Newcombe, a pitcher for the Dodgers for eight seasons, made his debut in 1949, two years after Robinson. Along with Newcombe, former Dodgers Tommy Davis, "Sweet" Lou Johnson and Frank Robinson were introduced, as well as Lakers great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. "Babe Ruth changed baseball; Jackie Robinson changed baseball, and to me it's something we should never forget," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who grew up in Brooklyn. "I'm happy Major League Baseball is certainly never going to let it go away."Miami: Prior to the his club's 10-2 win over the Reds at Sun Life Stadium, Marlins center fielder Cameron Maybin presented a $4,200 check the team contributed to the Jackie Robinson Foundation. The special day was not lost on Maybin, who wears No. 24 as a reverse of Robinson's historic No. 42 and read a great deal about him while growing up. "It's definitely an honor for me, I'm sure as well as some of these other guys, to be able to go out and wear that number for a day," said Maybin, who went 3-for-4 and hit his first homer of the season. "I think this day is great, and I'm just pleased to be able to be here and be a part of it."
Minneapolis: The Twins honored Robinson's legacy during a pregame ceremony before their 8-0 shutout of Boston, during which they introduced three Jackie Robinson Scholarship recipients -- Dena Baker, Andrea Glover, and Lena Her Many Horses. A video about Robinson's career was played before Span caught the first pitch from Jon Otto, CEO of Visions, Inc., who was named the recipient of the 4th annual Jackie Robinson award for the Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner. "The nine percent of African Americans that are in the game now, we're lucky to be able to put this uniform on. I cherish it," Twins outfielder Denard Span said.Oakland: The Orioles took the field against the A's at the Coliseum with only one African American player on the roster, which made the night even more special for Adam Jones. "I think Jackie Robinson Day is a celebration of Major League Baseball and it's a way to honor one of the game's greatest players. He wasn't just a guy who broke into baseball and broke through the color barrier. He was actually a pretty good player. It's good that baseball has shown that it really appreciates everything he brought to the game." As part of the celebration, nearly 500 Bay Area elementary and middle school students, as well as their parents and teachers, attended the game as guests of the A's for their participation in the Jackie Robinson "Breaking Barriers Essay Contest."
Philadelphia: At Citizens Bank Park where the Phillies dropped a 7-5 decision to the Nationals, a vintage Robinson bat from 1953 was passed around before the game in the Phillies dugout. "It kind of gave me the chills," said Phils outfielder Shane Victorino. Only in Philadelphia, though, was such a piece of baseball history on display. Hunt Auctions unveiled the Robinson bat -- from a 1953 matchup between the Dodgers and Giants -- and will display it at its retail store in the 126 section of Citizens Bank Park for the weekend. The bat will be auctioned off at the 2010 All-Star Game and is expected to sell for $30,000-$40,000.
St. Louis: The Cardinals recognized Jackie Robinson Day with a subdued ceremony at Busch Stadium on Thursday prior to their 5-1 loss to the Astros. The club played a tribute video on the board in right-center field to honor Robinson. "I have terrific admiration [for Robinson] and am incredulous that he could go through that," manager Tony La Russa said. "I saw today one of the papers was talking about the lack of the black athlete [in baseball]. And it's impossible to figure because it's such a great sport for anybody that's an athlete."San Diego: The Padres wore 1984 brown and mustard yellow throwback jerseys for their night game at PETCO Park against the Braves. Hours before the game, Jerry Hairston Jr. said that he couldn't wait to pull it on. "It carries a lot of weight for me and my family today," said Hairston, whose brother, Scott, is a teammate. Their grandfather, Sam Hairston, played in the Negro Leagues, eventually becoming the first African-American to play for the White Sox in 1951. "It's a great day. It goes to show how Major League Baseball views Jackie Robinson and the meaning of this day," Hairston Jr. said.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.