Baseball pays tribute to pioneer Robinson

This has been a great day. I am glad that baseball has not forgotten Jackie Robinson. He was so much bigger than just the game of baseball. I salute you MLB for getting this right by honoring a true hero.

The 65th anniversary of the day Jackie Robinson forever shattered Major League Baseball's color barrier was celebrated throughout baseball on Sunday, culminating at Yankee Stadium where the Yankees play the Angels in the Sunday night game.

And for the fourth consecutive year, every team takes the field -- all of the players, managers and coaches -- wearing Robinson's legendary No. 42. The sight is still both jarring and exhilarating.

Baseball had a full slate of Major League games, and the act repeated at the 15 ballparks is proof enough of the commitment to keep Robinson's memory alive.

"I'm honored to wear it, to use it," said Yankees closer extraordinaire Mariano Rivera, the last player who is allowed to wear the famous number every day. "It's wonderful. As a minority, being the last one to use No. 42 is tremendous. I'm really, really proud and thankful to wear No. 42."

That famous number was retired by decree of Commissioner Bud Selig throughout baseball on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Robinson taking the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Rivera, who broke into the big leagues in 1995, was grandfathered in.

Robinson's daughter, Sharon, was joined Sunday afternoon by Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, Angels pitcher LaTroy Hawkins and others for ceremonies and a baseball and softball clinic on the baseball field in Macombs Dam Park across the street from Yankee Stadium for 200 players that participate in local Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) programs.

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