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Royals, Angels reflect on Jackie's iconic impact

Frigid weather keeps KC from hosting game on Robinson Day
MLB.com @FlannyMLB

KANSAS CITY -- Jackie Robinson Day is always a day for managers, coaches and players to reflect on his incredible contribution to baseball as they all pull on their No. 42 jerseys to honor him.

And Royals manager Ned Yost believes baseball should possibly honor him more than once a season.

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KANSAS CITY -- Jackie Robinson Day is always a day for managers, coaches and players to reflect on his incredible contribution to baseball as they all pull on their No. 42 jerseys to honor him.

And Royals manager Ned Yost believes baseball should possibly honor him more than once a season.

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"What he did is hard to comprehend," Yost said on Sunday before the Angels-Royals series finale was postponed due to severe cold. "Nowadays, we play this game in a different era. Players today have a bit of an idea because it's a special day, but they have no idea what he went through. What he did was groundbreaking. What he did, in my opinion, is one of the most courageous things in sports.

"To be able to honor him once a year on Jackie Robinson Day, I think, we should probably do it more than once [a year]."

Players, too, feel honored to put on the No. 42 jersey.

"Of course it is," Royals left-hander Danny Duffy said. "He's obviously a very important figure in baseball and, on a broader scale, in world history, especially American history. He was a pioneer. A lot has changed since then, and there's a long way to go still. But his family should be very proud of him. I certainly am."

Angels closer Keynan Middleton is in the Major Leagues for the first time on Jackie Robinson Day.

"It's pretty special," Middleton said. "It's actually one of the things I looked forward to during the season, one of my milestones during the year. Wearing that jersey is important to me because without him, I wouldn't have the opportunity I have right now. It's all for respect that I enjoy Jackie Robinson Day."

Sunday's game will be made up at Kauffman Stadium on June 25, a mutual off-day for both teams.

As has been tradition each April 15 since 2009, Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day with all players and on-field personnel wearing Jackie's iconic number. For 2018, there is additional on-field uniform elements, including a commemorative patch on all team caps and jersey sleeves, socks emblazoned with '42,' and a new lightweight hooded fleece for batting practice and dugout wear, also featuring the '42' logo. MLB will donate all proceeds from the sale of such items to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which is a public, nonprofit organization that perpetuates Robinson's legacy by giving a four-year scholarship in his name and providing leadership development for minority college students as well as through building the Jackie Robinson Museum.

The museum will commemorate the life of Jackie Robinson as an athlete, activist and icon, illuminating his long-lasting impact across society through state-of-the-art exhibits, precious artifacts, film and other media. The National Jackie Robinson Museum Legacy Campaign has raised more than $25 million, and the museum is set to open in 2019.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB.

Los Angeles Angels, Kansas City Royals