Baseball is a game of numbers, but today there is only one that is important: 42. Major League Baseball in 2004 designated April 15 as the annual celebration of Jackie Robinson’s first appearance as a Brooklyn Dodger.
Sixteen years ago, Robinson’s number was officially retired by the MLB. It's one of the most distinctive tributes to what he did for baseball and society. Part of the celebration includes all players, coaches and managers wearing the number 42 on their jerseys as all of baseball honors the man who bravely became the first African-American player in MLB.
Since the Cubs are off today, they will honor Robinson tomorrow night when they host the Texas Rangers. Two Hall of Fame Cubs will be part of pre-game ceremonies: Ernie Banks and Billy Williams. Banks was the first African-American to play for the Northsiders and considered Robinson as a mentor. Williams joined the major leagues shortly after Robinson and Banks.
Hollywood is also spotlighting Robinson with the recently released movie 42: The True Story of an American Legend.
It's not the first cinematic version of the icon's story. In 1950, Robinson starred in the biographical film, The Jackie Robinson Story.