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Maddon: Jackie Robinson Day 'a holiday'

MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Jackie Robinson Day was celebrated in the Major Leagues on Tuesday, prompting Joe Maddon to address the occasion. Due to a rainout, the Rays will don the iconic No. 42 this afternoon against the Orioles.

Already drawn to the story and the courage Robinson displayed while breaking Major League Baseball's color barrier, the Rays manager grew even more connected to those events in recent years after reading Lee Lowenfish's "Branch Rickey: Baseball's Ferocious Gentleman".

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CINCINNATI -- Jackie Robinson Day was celebrated in the Major Leagues on Tuesday, prompting Joe Maddon to address the occasion. Due to a rainout, the Rays will don the iconic No. 42 this afternoon against the Orioles.

Already drawn to the story and the courage Robinson displayed while breaking Major League Baseball's color barrier, the Rays manager grew even more connected to those events in recent years after reading Lee Lowenfish's "Branch Rickey: Baseball's Ferocious Gentleman".

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"Every year you're reminded on Jackie Robinson Day about who he was and what he did," Maddon said. "And it's kind of like a holiday within the baseball season. It's kind of like a Christmas, an Easter, whatever, for me. It's a baseball holiday that you get to remember this particular moment and how significant it is to this game and to our society as a whole.

"I'm just hoping that it's never lost on anybody. I know it's not lost on me. I know the recent movie helped to get the message out there a little bit more. But that's one of those things that needs to be revisited, and we do that on an annual basis."

Mostly, Maddon said that Jackie Robinson Day reminds him of the word "courage."

"If you have a little fear in your body at all, just think about what this guy did," Maddon said. "And sometimes that can help get rid of those fears. Because it was pretty tough what he did. A lot of the things we do on a daily basis don't come close to that."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com.

Tampa Bay Rays