Celebrating #42 (Jackie Robinson Day)

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson trotted out to first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers.  The act itself was a simple one, but its significance was incredible: Jackie was the first black man to ever play professional baseball.

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During that 1947 season (and his entire career), Jackie dealt with equal parts fame and derision.  Sadly, many Americans at that time were not ready for big league baseball (or anywhere else, for that matter) to be integrated, and they let Jackie know through taunts and slurs.  Though difficult to “turn the other cheek” and play on, Jackie had the support of his manager (“I do not care if the guy is yellow or black, or if he has stripes like a zebra…I’m the manager of this team, and I say he plays”) and played an exciting brand of baseball that soon had most crowds cheering for him louder than the rest.

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Today, every April 15th, each player who steps out on the field wears #42 in tribute to Jackie Robinson.  In fact, the “modern era” of baseball is practically defined as 1947-onward…when a courageous act opened a door through which many followed.

MLB Celebrates 9th Annual "Jackie Robinson Day"  matt_kemp.jpg_4953bdde097e7adcaa1f1a6cda5b65bc

Here are some of the newest/best titles related to Jackie Robinson and his incredible journey:

For the younger crowd…

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I Am Jackie Robinson by Brad Meltzer. 9780803740860. 2015. Gr. PS-2.

Jackie Robinson by Isabel Martin. 9781491405024. 2014. Gr. PS-2.

Jackie Robinson: Baseball Legend by Grace Hansen. 9781629707013. 2015. Gr. PS-2.

Jackie Robinson by Wil Mara. 9780531249833. 2014. Gr. 1-2.

Jackie Robinson Breaks The Color Barrier by Bo Smolka. 9781624035944. 2014. Gr. 3-6.

Jackie Robinson: Breaking The Color Line In Baseball by Matt J Simmons. 9780778712442. 2014. Gr. 6-9.


For more seasoned readers…

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Baseball’s Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson & His Legacy by Jules Tygiel. 9780195339284. 2008. Gr. 11-Adult.

Jackie Robinson: Graphic Biography. 9781599052250. 2008. Gr. 9-12.

Jackie Robinson & Race In America by Thomas W Zeiler. 9781457617881. 2014. Gr. 11-Adult

Jackie Robinson: An intimate Portrait by Rachel Robinson. 9781419712142. 2014. Gr. 11-Adult

Rickey & Robinson by Roger Kahn. 9781623362973. 2014. Gr. 11-Adult

Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season by Jonathan Eig. 9780743294614. 2008. Gr. 10-Adult.


And finally, a film biopic that ranks among my favorite sports movies of all-time…


42. 2013. Starring Chadwick Boseman & Harrison Ford. PG-13.


Zachv1 Blogger: Zach K.