I was and am a baseball fan because of 42. Jackie Robinson Day is April 15. All major league players will wear NO 42 on this day. It signals the impact that Jackie Robinson had on baseball as a player and as the first Negro to play in major league baseball.
His story is as relevant today as it was in 1947. His talent and his personality lifted baseball and the country on its march to equality. The movie “42” is now playing on the big screen. According to Jack’s wife, Rachel Robinson, she “…is thrilled with the movie because it tells Jack’s story accurately and authentically.”
In 1955, one of LIFE Magazine’s prominent photographers was assigned to cover Jackie Robinson. In a 2002 interview with the photographer, Ralph Morse, he detailed the journey. “It was a two week assignment to cover Jackie and his family. The Brooklyn Dodgers were on their way to a historic season. “So when the great Subway Series happened Ralph was called upon once again to cover the game.
The now famous shot of Jackie rounding third is burned into our memory of the speed and grace of this man who, on his own, with the help of Branch Rickey, general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, brought the “color” issue to the forefront of the nation. Without Jackie Robinson, who played the game we all love to dislike because it is not really cool anymore, there might not have been a “March on Washington” in 1963 or a “Martin Luther King” to move the nation another step toward equality.