Padres honored for up-close look at Jackie's Day
LOS ANGELES -- With Major League teams celebrating Jackie Robinson Day across the country, the Padres were glad to be a part of the festivities in Robinson's hometown and against the organization he broke the color barrier with in 1947.
"To be playing against his organization in this city is special for us," Padres manager Bud Black said before Monday's game against the Dodgers.
Every member of the Padres wore Robinson's No. 42 in honor of the baseball pioneer. In 1997, under the direction of Commissioner Bud Selig, Robinson's No. 42 was retired across all of Major League Baseball in an unprecedented tribute.
Monday was the 66th anniversary of Robinson's first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers. His wife, Rachel, and daughter, Sharon, were honored before the game at Dodger Stadium.
"This is a special day for baseball, and I think for our society and for America and internationally," Black said. "With what Jackie meant to the game and all the people instrumental in breaking the color barrier, it's fantastic that baseball honors Jackie and honors his family with this type of day and throughout the game."
The San Diego clubhouse is rather diverse, with players representing five different countries across two continents, and Robinson's role in integrating the Major Leagues is not lost on the Padres.
"Jackie went through a lot and gave up a lot for us to be here," said outfielder Will Venable.