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Cutch, Pirates to celebrate Jackie's Day in Cincy

MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Andrew McCutchen regards Jackie Robinson Day the way many people regard Christmas Day: It is nice to have a holiday celebrating the human condition, but it is far more meaningful to have a life filled with Christmas spirit.

For McCutchen, every day he puts on the jersey with "Pirates" across the chest is Jackie Robinson Day.

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MILWAUKEE -- Andrew McCutchen regards Jackie Robinson Day the way many people regard Christmas Day: It is nice to have a holiday celebrating the human condition, but it is far more meaningful to have a life filled with Christmas spirit.

For McCutchen, every day he puts on the jersey with "Pirates" across the chest is Jackie Robinson Day.

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"For myself," said McCutchen, "it's just great to be wearing a Major League uniform when we recognize someone who wore it so meaningfully. When you think about the things he had to overcome to pave the road for players like myself … the appreciation of that never changes."

The Bucs will be on the road, in Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park, for Tuesday's observance of Jackie Robinson Day.

The day in that city will be even more meaningful for people who recall that the Queen City is where Hank Aaron hit his 714th homer -- the one that caught Babe Ruth -- on Opening Day 1974, four days prior to passing The Bambino.

The 40th anniversary of Aaron's No. 715 was fervently celebrated last week, an occasion that revisited some of the hardships he had to will his way through, paving some common ground with Robinson a generation earlier.

"Both had to deal with their own things, and both are very integral in what they've meant to the game," McCutchen said. "Jackie Robinson Day is always one I look forward to, for the chance to recognize not only what he did for baseball, but for the role he played in changing history."

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer.

 

Pittsburgh Pirates