College baseball: UCLA honors Jackie Robinson Day with his No. 42 emblazoned on hats vs. Utah
In what has become a cherished tradition, UCLA unveiled its annual dedication to Jackie Robinson’s breaking the baseball color barrier: each Bruins player will wear Robinson’s No. 42 on a newly customized hat Sunday against Utah.
This is the fourth straight year UCLA has rolled out a Robinson-styled uniform or hat to honor the baseball legend.
Robinson, a UCLA alum, made his MLB debut on April 15, 1947, when the Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 5-3. He became the first African American man to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era, scoring a run in his debut.
Last season, the Bruins donned Brooklyn Dodgers-style uniforms for the anniversary:
Robinson attended UCLA from 1939-41 and was a four-sport athlete in baseball, track and field, basketball and football. In 10 MLB seasons, he batted .311 and was honored as Rookie of the Year (1947) and Most Valuable Player (1949). He won the World Series with the Dodgers in 1955.
But Robinson's impact goes far beyond his stats. Robinson opened the door for other African Americans to play Major League Baseball and was a key civil rights advocate off the diamond.
UCLA plays its home games at Jackie Robinson Stadium. Outside its doors sits a bronze statue of Robinson, which was dedicated in 1985.