Sunday, April 15, 2007

Here's To You, Mr. Robinson

Major League Baseball can get a lot of things wrong (last week's decision to play the Angels and Indians in Milwaukee might be the latest example), and professional athletes often get knocked for lacking a sense of history and tradition. Today, however, both parties are getting it right by commemorating the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

In honor of the first black man to play in the major leagues, more than 150 players will wear Robinson's #42 on the field today. Six Detroit Tigers - Gary Sheffield, Craig Monroe, Pudge Rodriguez, Marcus Thames, Lloyd McClendon, and Curtis Granderson - will pay tribute, while six entire ballclubs - the Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, and of course, the Los Angeles Dodgers - will outfit their players, coaches, and ballboys with Robinson's number.

I wrote a longer piece about the occasion (as well as a paper I wrote in high school) over at Bless You Boys, and am hoping you'll head over there to check it out. I also included a bunch of links to other places that have posted a wealth of material on Robinson, his experiences, and his legacy. Today should be a pretty special day, one we don't get to see too often anymore in professional sports.