Major League Baseball

Best moments from Jackie Robinson Day in MLB

April 15

April 15 holds a special place in baseball — and sports — history.

The date marks the day Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball, stepping on the field for the then-Brooklyn Dodgers on Opening Day in 1947.

Since 2004, baseball has honored that historic occasion with a celebration across the sport, honoring the icon's contributions, achievements and sacrifices.

Here are the best moments from Jackie Robinson Day 2021:

Social media movement

The Los Angeles Dodgers started Jackie Robinson Day with a change to the team's Twitter presence, with a profile and header photo honoring the legend.

The Dodgers' matchup against the Colorado Rockies was filled with tributes to Robinson.

Did you know?

Stro knows

New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman showed off a tattoo of Robinson, along with a heartfelt tribute to No. 42, in a tweet Thursday.

Wrigley regalia

The Chicago Cubs pulled out all the stops to celebrate Robinson, including flying his number from the famed flagpoles that surround Wrigley Field.

Slick shoes

Cleats might not be the first thing that comes to mind for baseball attire, but these Robinson-themed Air Griffey Max 1 duds could steal the show Thursday.

Aside from having No. 42 featured prominently, subtler nods to Robinson's indelible legacy can be found embossed on the inside and outside of the lace strap.

Skip and Shannon discuss Robinson

Jackie Robinson's legacy was a discussion topic on Thursday's "Undisputed," with both Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe honoring Robinson's impact on the game of baseball.

Sharpe discussed Robinson's sacrifices as a player in order to hold the door open for the next group of Black players.

"We know he swallowed his words a lot because once he got out [of baseball], he was so outspoken. The things he said post-baseball were nothing like what he did in baseball because he didn't want to ruin it for anybody else. ... He wasn't gonna give them an opportunity to say, 'Jackie Robinson messed it up for the next Black [player].'"

Bayless shared how much Robinson impacted his youth as a die-hard baseball fan and how his presence in the game sparked a revolution.

"He has such monumental impact that transcended the sport of baseball. ... He was a superstar athlete. And two years later, after he breaks the color barrier [in 1947], he breaks through in 1949 and wins the MVP by hitting .342. And the floodgates opened. In the 1950s and 1960s, 18 times, players won the MVP – right on the tails of him breaking the color barrier!

"In my childhood, when baseball was the reason I existed, players of color dominated in ways you don't understand. ... And it's because [Jackie Robinson] didn't just open the door – he opened the floodgates."

Dear Jackie

Robinson's impact is felt even by the stars of today's generation. The league released a series of thoughts from players about No. 42 ahead of Thursday's first pitch.

The skills

Over the course of his 10-year career, Robinson went deep 137 times. 

Here are just a few of those long balls.

In addition, Robinson was arguably the fastest player in the game. He twice led the league in stolen bases, nabbing 29 during his rookie season in 1947 and stealing 37 in 1949. 

In total, he stole 197 in his career.

A walk down memory lane

The Arizona Diamondbacks honored Robinson in a unique way. Spend some time with this amazing thread by clicking on the tweet.

Anderson's tribute

Tim Anderson is the White Sox's 27-year-old shortstop, and on Thursday, he shared what Robinson has meant to his career.

In short: everything.

Yelich shares his thoughts

The Kid wonders: If not Jackie, who?

Ken Griffey Jr. spoke with Shannon Sharpe on a recent episode of "Club Shay Shay" and their conversation included an interesting discussion about Robinson.

Sharpe said that not anybody could have done what Robinson did because it took a certain temperament to deal with the verbal abuse from fans. Griffey agreed and added that if Robinson hadn't broken the color barrier, it might have been a long wait before the right person came along.

"If he didn't do it, when would be the next Jackie Robinson?" Griffey said. "It may have been after my dad might have played, so I may not have got the opportunity."

Griffey also played a major role in "Jackie Robinson Day" coming to be.

"I'm honored to wear No. 42"

Cedric Mullins and other Orioles expressed their gratitude.

Be the change

The Players Alliance encouraged players to model Robinson in creating change.

Above and beyond

The Tampa Bay Rays weren't scheduled to play the Texas Rangers until 7:10 p.m. ET, but they made sure to honor Robinson on their Twitter account well before the first pitch.

In a thread honoring the life and impact of Robinson, the Rays detailed how they donate $100K annually to help communities impacted by systemic racism and support anti-racist groups.

Starting pitcher Chris Archer also spoke on what Robinson means to him.

Shortstop Willy Adames paid tribute with his on-field attire.

An important conversation

Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond was part of a conversation with members of the staff and front office about the impact of Robinson, the doors he opened and what work is still needed to be done to uplift his legacy.

Magic's moment

NBA legend Magic Johnson shared his thoughts ...

More than just baseball

Former shortstop Jimmy Rollins talked about how Robinson's role was not just about integrating baseball but also about civil rights.

On the silver screen

Who could forget this iconic moment in the movie "42," with Chadwick Boseman playing the role of Robinson?

The meaning behind the number

Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton broke down the significance of wearing No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day.

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