Rain Delays Orioles Celebration of Jackie Robinson
Every April 15th Major League Baseball (MLB) celebrates the anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in 1947 by having every player wear Robinson’s number 42. Maybe I’m sentimental but I look forward to seeing it every year.
It’s completely logical that the players would feel honored to be a part of celebrating such an amazing athlete but even as a fan I take pride in celebrating Robinson’s legacy. Robinson as a player was remarkable. As a person, even more so. If you have ever read his story, you know that it was Robinson’s character as much as his talent that led the Brooklyn Dodgers to choose him to be the first African-American in professional baseball.
I thought about that a lot yesterday. Robinson stood out, stood apart, so clearly that it was obvious he could handle the unimaginably difficult responsibility of breaking down that barrier. Remarkably, Robinson was able to do it. He withstood the barrage of hate and ignorance with such class and dignity that he actually changed the minds and opinions of those that hated him.
With the rain causing a postponement of the Baltimore Orioles game yesterday, the O’s were unable to participate in the celebration of Jackie Robinson. Sure, MLB has said the Orioles will get to wear their number 42 at a later date, however, it did make me think there might be a better way to celebrate Robinson’s contribution to baseball.
I’m not suggesting that MLB due a way with the celebration on April 15th but rather add to the celebration. Instead of having Robinson’s number retired and unworn for every day other than April 15th, perhaps all MLB managers should be assigned the number. This would serve as a daily reminder of what Robinson did and stood for and the legacy he left behind.
Maybe my suggestion isn’t the greatest. Maybe nothing needs to be done. I just worry that the celebration of Robinson’s life will be reduced to a yearly event and that eventually we might forget what a remarkable person Robinson was. I certainly don’t ever want to see that happen. Jackie Robinson is an inspiration to me and would be to any who takes the time to learn his story.