'Jackie Robinson Day' Honors Baseball Great, Civil Rights Hero - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

'Jackie Robinson Day' Honors Baseball Great, Civil Rights Hero

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - April 15, 2014 marks 67 years since famed athlete Jackie Robinson became the first black man to play in a Major League Baseball game.

In 1947, Jackie Robinson made his official debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on opening day. In that game, the Dodgers defeated the The Boston Braves, 5-3.

Robinson's participation in the game was not only a sign of progress in baseball, but was also one of the biggest achievements of the Civil Rights Movement.

On Tuesday, the hashtag #JackieRobinsonDay was trending, as companies and individuals tweeted their respect for Mr. Robinson's legacy.

According to the official Jackie Robinson website, "Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born in Cairo, Georgia in 1919 to a family of sharecroppers. His mother, Mallie Robinson, single-handedly raised Jackie and her four other children."

The film "42" hit theaters last year; it chronicled Robinson's life, professional baseball career and how he overcame discrimination to create a lasting legacy.

Jackie Robinson was celebrated throughout baseball Tuesday: MLB commemorated him at Yankee Stadium in a ceremony which included his wife Rachel and daughter Sharon. In Vero Beach, Florida, where the Brooklyn Dodgers made their Spring Training home from 1949-2008, Robinson was honored during a Florida State League game. On April 1, retailer Tommy Bahama released a 2014 "Collector's Edition" shirt featuring Jackie Robinson.

Jackie Robinson passed away in 1972 at age 53.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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