LEADING OFF: Dodgers to unveil Jackie Robinson statue

All 30 Major League Baseball teams paid tribute to the anniversary Saturday.

During the pregame ceremony and the game itself, the Nationals will honor the contributions of African-Americans to the game of baseball and the community.

Two years ago on Jackie Robinson Day, owner and chairman Mark Walter suggested a sculpture belonged at Dodger Stadium of the six-time All-Star second baseman who starred when the team was in Brooklyn. "He's a motivating guy that really opened many doors for African-Americans. I have a Jackie Robison wall at my house, in my weight room, there's Jackie on his wall, along with me, so, it's just that I'm not that overly happy about it because I think we should do this every day instead of just one day a year". It was the first series that I remember watching, and I watched much of it with my late dad.

Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers star since breaking into Major League baseball in 1947, is shown with his wife, Rachel, and their four-year-old son, Jackie Jr., in their home in Stamford, Conn., Dec. 13, 1956. But I was too enthralled with Reggie Jackson's irrepressible swag and the way Joe Morgan hitched his elbow when at bat.

On Saturday, Robinson's impact will be celebrated throughout baseball, from special lineup cards to jeweled bases to some players wearing commemorative cleats.

"If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be in baseball and I wouldn't be working as a player and I wouldn't have this job".

Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber throws in the first inning during a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Sunday, April 9, 2017, in Phoenix.

Verstappen fastest in 3rd and final practice at Bahrain GP
Instead, Felipe Massa put his Williams fastest with a 1m32.801s, only to be relegated to second by soft-shod Verstappen. It was the first pole in Bottas' career. "It's a lot of races without a Finn on pole", Bottas said. "Great lap.

Yankees DH Matt Holliday is playing against the Cardinals this weekend for the first time since ending his eight-year run with St. Louis.

Campanis and Jackie Robinson were close friends until Robinson's death from a heart attack in 1972, their friendship dating to their days as Dodgers minor leaguers in Montreal in 1946. Robinson was not a "thing" for a young scholar in the making.

The only thing to wonder about on the 70th anniversary of Robinson's debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers is why it took Major League Baseball more than a half-century to fully recognize his sacrifice and achievement.

On the back reads Robinson's No. 42.

"It took certain qualities - courage, focus and precise timing - in order for someone to steal home plate", sculptor Branly Cadet said. I get to wear a pair of custom Jackie Robinson cleats by New Balance.

"This year it's more emotional, because my mom is turning 95". We will be proud to do so on the most meaningful date on our calendar, Jackie Robinson Day, at our Youth Academy in Compton.

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