Jackie Robinson

Jersey No. 42 retired by MLB in 1997

by Alex McRae

alt

Submitted Photo

In 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and helped pave the way for the American civil rights movement when he became the first African- American player in Major League Baseball.

Newnan’s Luke Large appears in the Hollywood feature film “42,” which opens in theaters nationwide on Friday.

The film is about Jackie Robinson, who was the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball.

Robinson’s name is familiar, but many Americans are not aware of his story or how his struggle changed a nation. The following information about Robinson and the film is provided by Warner Brothers.

* * *

Academy Award-winner Brian Helgeland (“L.A. Confidential”) wrote and directed the drama “42,” starring Chadwick Boseman (“The Express”) and Oscar nominee Harrison Ford (“Witness”).

Hero is a word we hear often in sports, but heroism is not always about achievements on the field of play. “42” tells the story of two men — the great Jackie Robinson and legendary Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey — whose brave stand against prejudice forever changed the world by changing the game of baseball.

In 1946, Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford) put himself at the forefront of history when he signed Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) to the team, breaking Major League Baseball’s infamous color line. But the deal also put both Robinson and Rickey in the firing line of the public, the press and even other players. Facing unabashed racism from every side, Robinson was forced to demonstrate tremendous courage and restraint by not reacting in kind, knowing that any incident could destroy his and Rickey’s hopes. Instead, No. 42 let his talent on the field do the talking — ultimately winning over fans and his teammates, silencing his critics, and paving the way for others to follow.

In 1997, Major League Baseball retired No. 42 for all teams, making it the first number in sports to be universally retired.

The only exception is April 15 — Jackie Robinson Day — commemorating the date of his first game as a Brooklyn Dodger. On that day alone, players from every team proudly wear No. 42 to honor the man who altered the course of history.



More Local

UPDATE

Authorities identify burglary suspects

Authorities have identified the three suspects arrested in a manhunt that ended on Paces Landing Court on Thursday. Timothy Cole Stevenson, ... Read More


Turin preparing to celebrate its 125th anniversary

Turin will be celebrating its 125th birthday later this month. A volunteer committee is meeting weekly to make plans for the Aug. 29 celebra ... Read More


UPDATE

Teen killed in single-vehicle accident

A 19-year-old lost his life in an accident early Friday after he lost control of his vehicle, drove off the road and collided with a tree. S ... Read More


teen excels at Tae Kwon do

Local athlete dreams of competing in Olympics

Alina Kent has only been training in Tae Kwon Do for a little more than a year, but after placing gold in numerous tournaments this summer a ... Read More


Authorities capture burglary suspects

Two males and one juvenile are in custody after leading authorities in a manhunt following a failed burglary attempt on Thursday. Shortly be ... Read More

looking back

The Emergency Room: Its use and abuse

Editor’s note: Overcrowded hospital emergency rooms, and long wait times, caused by people using the ER for things that aren’t t ... Read More