The newest Ken Burns documentary is a two-part biography of Jackie Robinson, premiering tomorrow night on PBS. Despite his inclusion in Burns’s Baseball, Robinson’s impact breaking the color barrier in American professional sports extends even beyond the scope of what that eleven-part epic can accomplish.
While much of April belongs to Opening Week festivities, and all the pomp and circumstance that attends the return to Major League ballparks all around the country, we’ll also soon be reminded of the anniversary of Robinson’s historic debut at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. Since 2004, April 15 has been celebrated as Jackie Robinson Day throughout baseball, and it’s the only time that Robinson’s number 42 can be worn by an MLB player. And, in fact, every player will be wearing 42. Sure, it might be confusing if you’re keeping score, but the significance far outweighs any statistical record-keeping challenges. Continue reading Jackie Robinson Day