NEWARK, NJ (WCBS 880) – Children in New Jersey are celebrating a memorable day in history. Sixty-four years ago, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney With Jackie Robinson’s Daughter Sharon and Yankees Manager Joe Girardi

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“If it wasn’t for him, Hispanics nor African-Americans would have been playing right now,” says 12-year-old Ray Paulino.

Paulino and other little leaguers in North Newark are learning about history, while at an MLB-sponsored youth clinic on Jackie Robinson Day at Kasberger Field.

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“He overcame some significant battles, both on the baseball diamond and in his personal life,” said Robinson’s daughter Sharon. “Teaching those kids that can help them deal with their own issues today.”

“Some people didn’t like him, but, you know what? Jackie followed his dream,” said New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who encouraged the kids to do as number 42 did.

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Robinson spent his entire Major League Baseball career with the Brooklyn Dodgers.