KANSAS CITY, Mo. — April 15th is a special day across baseball every season because of one of the greatest pioneers in the world: Jackie Robinson.
The first Black Major League Baseball player made his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. Robinson got his professional baseball start with the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues in 1945 and was an All-Star that season.
The six-time MLB All-Star and World Series champion had his number 42 retired throughout the league for his resilience and groundbreaking play but MLB allows every player to wear the number on Jackie Robinson Day.
For Kansas City Royals players, they feel honored to be in the same number and the same city as the baseball legend.
“It’s always significant to be able to put 42 on our backs,” pitcher Amir Garrett said. The 30-year-old said he always looks forward to the day and pitched on the day in 2018.
“Baseball is rich in Kansas City with the Negro Leagues Museum, and it’s a city that Jackie played in. So I think it’s extra special.”
“The impact that he made on not only the game but our country, the world,” outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said. “He was a pioneer and whether it’s in a Royals jersey or any other jersey, I think it’s just as special.”
Manager Matt Quatraro said he hopes every player realizes how special Robinson’s impact was and how important this day is.
“Don’t take anything for granted when you’re out here on a daily basis. The conditions we have, the things that we’re afforded that he wasn’t and so many other people weren’t.”
The Royals close out their series with the Atlanta Braves on Sunday at 1:10.