Blue Jays players react to Jackie Robinson Day
Throughout the illustrious history of the game we love, few athletes have had a bigger impact than Jackie Robinson. After more than 70 years, he continues to influence generations of athletes, no matter the sport, by serving as a model of class, courage, and respect.
Every year on April 15th, Major League Baseball honours one of its true pioneers, Jackie Robinson. The first major leaguer to break the colour barrier, Robinson was not only a brave individual but also one fantastic ballplayer.
Through a breathtaking 10-year career, he hit .311, played in 1382 games, stole 197 bases, mashed over 125 home runs, and won an NL MVP award and an NL Rookie of the Year award. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962. He was also a member of the 1955 World Series champion Brooklyn Dodgers.
71 years after making his major league debut for the Dodgers, Jackie Robinson remains hugely important for baseball players everywhere. Unfortunately, the Jays will not be able to play on Jackie Robinson Day, as their game in Cleveland was postponed due to inclement weather.
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Several current Toronto Blue Jays, including exuberant starting pitcher Marcus Stroman, took to Twitter to share their feelings. Stroman said that Robinson’s “visionary actions allowed me to play the game I love”.
Blue Jays outfielder and notable philanthropist Curtis Granderson appeared in a video posted on his Twitter account. In the video, Grandy spoke candidly and said that he will wear cleats that pay homage to Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby. Doby was the first African-American baseball player to play in the American League.
Elsewhere in Major League Baseball, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler, Miami Marlins centerfielder Lewis Brinson, and Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones took to Twitter to pay tribute to Jackie Robinson. Reporters Jesse Sanchez, Adam Rubin, and Carrie Muskat also tweeted to honour Robinson (all tweets linked).
Despite the lack of Blue Jays action today, we should all take a moment and remember the incredible courage and bravery displayed by Jackie Robinson. Without him, baseball as we know it would not be as inclusive and universal as it is today.
Next: Blue Jays set to benefit from Cleveland cancellations
For more information on Jackie Robinson, please visit his official website at jackierobinson.com and the official website of the Jackie Robinson Foundation at jackierobinson.org