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

Gray found guilty of rape

Guilty was the verdict reached in the sleepwalking rape trial of Benjamin Gray. After three hours after beginning their deliberation, the ju ... Read More


Sexsomnia or rape? Verdict in jury’s hands

Closing arguments in the sleepwalking rape trial of Benjamin Gray concluded Friday. Coweta County Assistant District Attorney Herb Cranford ... Read More


118 Newnan High students tested for TB

More than a hundred tuberculosis exposure tests were administered at Newnan High School on Friday, as earlier in the week a NHS student was ... Read More


Senoia man arrested after fleeing from officer

A Senoia area man was arrested Tuesday and taken to the Coweta County Jail after allegedly leading a Coweta County sheriff's deputy on a hig ... Read More


UPDATE

Wreck victim in fair condition

James Hand, who was injured in a motor vehicle crash Thursday morning, was listed in fair condition Friday at Atlanta Medical Center. Hand w ... Read More

Prescribed burn smokes out Lake Redwine

A large fire that brought days of smoke and acrid smells to the Lake Redwine area was a prescribed burn that was done in accordance with cur ... Read More