4/13/2013 12:35 A.M. ET
'42' movie receiving rave reviews
By Mark Newman / MLB.com
The movie "42" arrived on Friday amid a hail of praise from those within the same Major League Baseball industry that Jackie Robinson integrated nearly 66 years ago.
Clubs, players and MLB personnel had the opportunity to see advanced screenings of the movie, which stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson and Academy Award nominee Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers executive who signed Robinson to the team.
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"I've often said that baseball's proudest moment and its most powerful social statement came when Jackie Robinson first set foot on a Major League Baseball field," Commissioner Bud Selig said after the screening, "and '42' captures that event brilliantly."
In 1997, under the direction of Selig, Robinson's No. 42 was retired across all of Major League Baseball in an unprecedented tribute.
Many players saw the film during Spring Training, including Matt Kemp, who was the host of the official screening for the Dodgers. He also hosted a second screening for a group of kids from the Los Angeles area.
Kemp tweeted: "Private #42movie screening with young ballplayers tonight #nextgeneration"
Others have attended screenings on off-days during this regular season, including Bryce Harper, who saw the film at the White House. Several of these players took to Twitter to offer their reactions after seeing the movie and commented on how important Robinson is to them:
Adam Jones: "Just got a private screening of #42, and I must say it was a real blessing to see how Mr. Robinson over came the nonsense and played the game."
Andrew McCutchen: "Saw '42' back in December ... one of the best movies I've ever seen! Pumped to hear what you all think #Jackie42"
Brandon Phillips: "Watched the screening of #42 and it was a GOOD movie! THANK U #JackieRobinson #BranchRickey for changing the WORLD! #ItsAMustSee"
Harper: "What an incredible showing tonight of the movie 42! So moving and just an unbelievable story! He's a hero to all! #42"
CC Sabathia: "Just got out of a private screening of 42. It was Incredible. He is truly an American hero!"
Justin Upton: "Special off-day having a chance to watch the movie '42.' Such an honor to enjoy the story of a legend. #42Atlanta"
Jeremy Guthrie gave the movie two thumbs up and said: "The film will educate and remind us of the impact Jackie Robinson had not only on baseball, but more importantly, on society."
Many baseball legends have also seen the film, including Hall of Famer Hank Aaron at a Braves screening. Additionally, Hall of Famers George Brett and Lou Brock and Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Uecker attended a special fundraiser screening in Kansas City to support the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, which was supported by both MLB and the Royals, among other sponsors.
People around baseball also have been enjoying the new e-book "Fortitude: The Exemplary Life of Jackie Robinson." Featuring a special foreword by NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was born in New York the day after Robinson broke the color line in 1947, "Fortitude" is the second release in a new MLB.com PLAY BALL Books series produced jointly with HarperCollins' Ecco imprint.