The Jackie Robinson Foundation is launching a virtual learning hub to coincide with the 73rd anniversary Wednesday of Robinson breaking the major league color barrier.
CC Sabathia and Harold Reynolds are among the former major leaguers reading excerpts from the book by Robinson’s daughter, Sharon. She will appear in video vignettes and there are virtual and printable educational activities.
Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier on April 15, 1947, for the Brooklyn Dodgers and his No. 42 was retired throughout the major leagues in 1997 by then-Commissioner Bud Selig. An annual Jackie Robinson Day started in 2004. Since 2009, all players, managers, coaches have worn his No. 42 to mark the day.
Former Met Butch Huskey wore No. 42 as a reminder of who paved the way.
“To even try to put yourself in that situation, it just gives you chill bumps,” he told CBS2’s Steve Overmyer. “It was just a small honor that I could pay to him and his family to let them know that he was still a part of our lives out there, so to speak.”
Huskey says not only was Robinson a great player, he was also a great person.
“I think him being a great person made it a lot easier for a lot of people to eventually fall in love with Jackie Robinson,” Huskey said.
“You have to separate yourself from even the greats when you get your day,” former Met Cliff Floyd said.
Robinson’s athleticism changed the game, but he changed the nation with his strength and courage. Never afraid to speak truth to power, his contributions to the Civil Rights movement were monumental.
There are more statues of Robinson than any other American athlete.
CBS2’s Steve Overmyer asked Huskey and Floyd what attribute of Robinson’s they wished everyone could embrace.
“The one word comes to mind is patience, and we all need it. This is the time when you, no matter how hard it is, no matter what you’re going through, we all patience,” Floyd said.
“Just the kindness to others. You can always face adversity, and when you’re facing adversity, the best you can do to someone else is to help lift them up and be kind to them,” Huskey said.
Progress isn’t always organic, sometimes you need a catalyst. Robinson gave everyone a path to see the future. He changed the way Americans looked at each other and themselves.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)