College baseball: UCLA honors Jackie Robinson Day with throwback uniforms

Saturday is the 70th anniversary of legendary Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier and becoming the first African American to play in the modern era of Major League Baseball.

Jackie Robinson was a father, a husband, a baseball player, a civil rights leader and a role model. To celebrate the progress he helped usher into professional sports, every player will wear the number 42 on their uniforms tomorrow on the anniversary of Robinson's first game. To me April 15th should be a national holiday-Jackie Robinson Day because his courage and determination coupled with his ability to withstand so much so others could benefit is a constant inspiration to all of us. The year before the Campanis controversy, 18 percent of major league players were African-American according to a study produced by the Society for American Baseball Research. I've had the good fortune of playing with players from more than 10 countries throughout my career. "Here it is, 70 years later and he's still being recognized". But Jackie made it work.

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"It's not about looking back so much as it is feeling inspired", Sharon Robinson said.

Campanis and Jackie Robinson were close friends until Robinson's death from a heart attack in 1972, their friendship dating to their days as Dodgers minor leaguers in Montreal in 1946.

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The family shared numerous photos of Robinson with Cadet. We watched the first games of Dwight Gooden when he joined the team the next year, and I called my dad from college when the Mets won the World Series a few years later.

"A life is not important", one of the quotes reads, "except in the impact it has on other lives". He used to come home and say, 'They gave me a standing ovation, ' and [he] was so shocked. "Jackie Robinson showed us you can stand up, be strong and be respected, and play great ball under tremendous pressure".

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