Remembering Jackie Robinson

Today is Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball. Today we remember Jackie breaking baseball’s color barrier line in 1947. All managers, coaches and players will be wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. As a Jackie Robinson fan, I am very happy that Major League Baseball retired his number in 1997 and for the past several years have honored Jackie Robinson on April 15th. I have always felt that Jackie Robinson is not only an iconic figure in the baseball world but should be remembered by all Americans. I think America needs to have a national holiday to remember the life of Jackie Robinson. A national holiday that will include a day of community service. Jackie Robinson would not have it any other way. Jackie was so humble that if he was alive today and seeing Major League Baseball using April 15th to honor him, Jackie would be the first one to say that he rather have Major League Baseball be dedicated to the needs of the community where there is a baseball team. He would still be addressing the issues of justice and equality in our society.

Number 42 to me is not only my favorite number but according to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, number 42 is the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything.” If that is the case, I would go as far as to say that Jackie’s number 42 was a code for America to change its evil ways. No longer must White baseball players play the game of baseball by discriminating players for the color of their skin. No longer must people of color be forced to go to separate bathrooms, stay in different hotels, eat isolated from White people, and be forced to live under an American Apartheid.

Jackie not only demonstrated America’s need to change its inhumane rules by the way he played the game but more importantly, how he carried himself in the baseball diamond. In order for the “noble experiment” to work, Jackie was forced to take all the abuse from white racist fans and opposing players. Even his own teammates didn’t want to play next to him or even share the same clubhouse. But, Jackie knew that many of his teammates didn’t care about the color Black but about the color Green. Robinson knew that as long as the Dodgers won a pennant or the World Series, he was helping his teammates get a good paycheck. Jackie once said, “Money is America’s God.” And to this day, this quote echoes throughout the whole world.

What people don’t know about Jackie is that even before he broke baseball’s color barrier line in 1947, he was always dedicated to the values of justice and equality. Once when he was in the military, he refused to get up from his seat and sit in the back of the bus. Jackie Robinson was court martial for standing up for his rights. In the military he and Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Joe Louis, advocated for the equal rights of African-American Soldiers. While Rosa Parks played an instrumental role in the Civil Rights Movement, I like to say that it was Jackie Robinson on July 6, 1944 who was probably the first African American to refuse his seat while riding a bus.

After retiring from baseball, Jackie played a tremendous role in American politics. He continued to fight for the rights of African-Americans in all sectors. He criticized the New York Yankees for being a team that only hired white people. He protested companies who didn’t hired African-Americans. On August 2, 1963, he joined workers who were picketing the construction site of Downstate Medical Center for allegations that Blacks were being discriminated from the hiring process. Jackie Robinson became great friends with Martin Luther King, Jr. MLK once said, “Jackie Robinson was a legend and a symbol in his own time.”  In 1964, he co founded the Freedom National Bank, a commercial bank owned by African Americans and operated in Harlem, New York. Jackie was not only a co founder but he served as the bank’s first Chairman of the Board. Jackie also championed for the equal rights in the housing sector. His concern for the racial segregation in the housing sector and the conditions that African American families were living in, inspired Jackie Robinson to start The Jackie Robinson Construction Company in 1970 to construct housing for low income families. Jackie Robinson was one of America’s true pioneers during the Civil Rights Movement and people should not forget about that.

It is my tradition to go to Dodger Stadium on Jackie Robinson Day. Tonight I will proudly wear my Jackie Robinson jersey. I wear number 42 understanding that I continue Jackie’s legacy of fighting for justice and equality. I owe a tremendous gratitude to Jackie Robinson for the amazing human being that he was.

Jackie Robinson is not only my hero but a source of my inspiration. No human being should go through what Jackie Robinson went through. His courage and unbending spirit are like no other. Jackie Robinson lived his life with a purpose. He understood that our lives are to be used to make our world a better place. Jackie is quoted as saying, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

Enjoy this great video on Jackie Robinson

Here are various pics of me wearing #42 to pay tribute to Jackie,
whether I’m throwing out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium,
riding a camel in the Jasailmer desert in India, playing softball
or just watching a Dodger game on Jackie Robinson Day.
Img_3982Dodger_pre-game2Dodger_pre-game1Img_1568Img_1569Img_0575_1Img_0588_1Img_0591_1Img_0621_1113911561169Img_15301163Pic_with_jackie_robinson

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2 Responses to “Remembering Jackie Robinson”

  1. ana Castillo Says:

    i really liked this posting. i honestly didnt know too much about jackie robinson. i didnt grow up with baseball even though i grew up in l.a. i lived in a house full of women only and we didnt care too much for sports like that. anyways, i enjoyed reading your post and i especially like your #42 pictures. thats cool🙂

  2. The court martial of Jackie Robinson | victorjara42's Blog Says:

    […] https://victorjara42.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/remembering-jackie-robinson/ […]

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