April 15 marks one of the most important days in history for Major League Baseball. On this day in 1947, Jackie Robinson made his debut and more importantly became the first black ball player to play in the Major Leagues and break the sport's color barrier after decades of segregation. Before this, black ball players played in the Negro Leagues that featured teams like the Kansas City Monarchs & the Homestead Grays.
On the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson making history, 1997 marked the year that #42 would be retired for all 30 ball clubs and no new ball player would be able to wear that number. Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera was the last ball player to wear #42 after he retired in 2013.
It wasn't until 2007, when the tradition of all ball players of all 30 teams wore #42 to honor Jackie Robinson. This tradition spawned from Hall-Of-Famer Ken Griffey Jr asking former MLB commissioner Bud Selig to wear #42 on April 15th.
Although no ball games will be played on April 15th, 2020, Jackie Robinson's legacy will live on.
CLICK HERE to check out the complete guide to 2020 Jackie Robinson Day: a feature from MLB.
Coach Jared Eichelberger is a San Diego native who enjoys sharing baseball knowledge to help build awesome playing & coaching experiences for all.