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Phils have belated celebration for Robinson

Players honor Negro Leagues' Duckett, Tuskegee Airman Pritchett

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies celebrated Jackie Robinson Day on Wednesday at Citizens Bank Park after Tuesday's game had to be postponed because of rain.

It included every Phillies and Braves player, manager and coach wearing No. 42 jerseys.

"I think it is an honor," Ryan Howard said on Twitter, "the ultimate tribute, for all of us to wear '42' each year. Jackie changed not only baseball, but America."

"Jackie's legacy is an inspiration to me and all players," Marlon Byrd said. "He forever changed the game for the better."

Negro Leagues player Mahlon Duckett, who played for the Philadelphia Stars, was honored on the field, receiving a gift from players. The Tuskegee Airmen served as honor guard. Jimmy Rollins surprised Tuskegee Airman John Pritchett, when he handed him a bronze replica of the Congressional Gold Medal.

The "I Am 42" video played on PhanaVision and the Jackie Robinson statue sat by the left-field gate on Ashburn Alley.

"As far as diversity is concerned, there's nobody who has had more of an impact on the game than Jackie Robinson," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said. "His perseverance, his guts. Not just for African-American players, but Latin American players and players of color. Unfortunately, those were the times we lived in then, but we'll never live them again."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for Austin Laymance is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @jalaymance.
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