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Along with: * Winning the Rookie of the Year, Cy Young, and MVP awards * Playing in 3 different decades * Being one of surely only a few players to play in the Negro Leagues, Major Leagues, and Central League (Japan) Don Newcombe this evening threw out a ceremonial first pitch alongside Sandy Koufax.
Today is Jackie Robinson Day, when every player on every major-league team will wear jersey #42. It is the only day of the season when #42 is permitted to be worn, as MLB retired the number from every team. Special mention also to Branch Rickey, who had the foresight, wisdom, and humanity to hand-select Robinson for the chore of being named the first black MLB player, because Rickey knew Robinson was tough enough, and gentle enough, to endure the racial taunting. And also to Bill Veeck, who attempted integration in 1942, but was thwarted. Not enough attention is paid to these two men, without whom, Jackie Robinson would most likely be in the Hall of Fame as a Negro League player. In honor of one of the great Americans in history, Jackie Robinson. And some trivia (which is too important to be trivia): We all know that Jessie Owens won the 200-meter dash in the 1936 Berlin Olympics, but almost nobody knows that the silver medalist for the same event, finishing 0.4 seconds behind Owens, was Mack Robinson, Jackie's older brother.