With no games taking place on April 15 this year, the date Jackie Robinson is universally celebrated across Major League Baseball, the league is honoring the Black man who broke baseball's color barrier in 1947 on Friday.
Aug. 28 is a significant date in American history for the famous "March on Washington" in 1963, which Robinson attended with his family.
As his daughter Sharon says in a video essay aired Friday on MLB Network, on Aug. 28, 1945, Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey invited Robinson to his office for a quasi-interview before extending him a contract with the team.
Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech that day, Sharon Robinson said, "felt like a continuation of progress that Dad had been at the center of ever since he first played at Ebbets Field."
“What do you want the future to say about the moment we lived, the chance we had to move the world forward? A game like baseball can play a part in that progress.”
Sharon Robinson tells you why August 28th isn’t just another day. #Jackie42pic.twitter.com/m96ShHat3q
Even though her father died in 1972, Sharon Robinson said she has been asked about how her father would feel about the wave of protests in the name of racial justice.
"I think the only thing I can say for sure is that my Dad would have been focused on the change that needs to come, identifying ways for it to impact the most people and make the most difference," she said. "He would have embraced the Black Lives Matter struggle and believed in the fight.
"And on this very different, but fundamentally the same, Jackie Robinson Day of 2020, here would be my question for all of us. What do we want the world to look like 75 years from now? 57 years from now? Next year? What do you want the future to say about the moment we lived in? The chance we had to move the world forward? A game like baseball can play a part in that progress. Jackie Robinson proved it for all time."
The No. 42 of former Brooklyn Dodgers player Jackie Robinson at the retired numbers plaza at Dodger Stadium. (Photo: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports)
On Thursday, the more than 100 current and former Black MLB players who are part of "The Players Alliance" announced they will donate their salaries from games played on Aug. 27 and Aug. 28 to support their efforts "to combat racial inequality and aid the Black families and communities deeply affected in the wave of recent events."
We cannot stand idly by and wait for change✊🏾
Join The Players Alliance in our movement: https://t.co/GF2xq96IZppic.twitter.com/kwZCsLtXo5
Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.
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