(Neil Miller / Sportsday Wire)
Jackie Robinson Day is commemorated throughout Major League ?Baseball every April 15th in honor of the day he made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers and broke the color barrier.
Every player on all 30 teams will wear Robinson’s number, 42.
Yankees Manager Joe Girardi wore a Jackie Robinson Foundation shirt for his pre-game press conference.
“The Jackie Robinson Foundation perpetuates the memory of Jackie’s historic achievement and life in the game of baseball,” said Girardi. It also promotes higher education and leadership development for kids of color. Since 1973, they’ve given over 1,400 scholarships. It carries on the memory of Jackie.”
“Pioneer” is the word that comes to mind when Girardi hears the name Jackie Robinson.
“There was a toughness about Jackie and also a grace about how he handled his situation and how he had to persevere in so many instances when instinct would have said ‘protect yourself.’ Jackie knew he had a responsibility to his race and it was incredible what he did. Very few people probably could have ever overcame the obstacles he faced,” said Girardi.
On what the day means to his players, Girardi said, “I think it means a lot. I think it reminds us what people have to go through to be successful. Life is not easy. When you think about one of the greatest baseball players ever and be able to wear his number for a day, and everyone gets to wear his number, is pretty special.”