Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball color barrier 70 years ago today

For the past 20 years, sports writers and talking heads have chimed in on the significance of Jackie Robinson's taking the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson, 28, broke the color barrier and ushered in an era when African-Americans could lawfully compete with whites as teammates and equals.

Instead, the bronze artwork captures Robinson sliding during a steal of home, something he did 19 times in his career, including once in the 1955 World Series, a play that resulted in Yankee catcher Yogi Berra famously going bonkers.

"She's really led the charge on the legacy building", Sharon Robinson said. Never much a fanboy, I nevertheless walked up to Strawberry, who had a pair of Beats headphones on his ears, just to shake his hand.

The university also welcomed Jackie's wife Rachel Robinson and the Robinson family back to Westwood to visit the "42" monument in front of the Jackie Robinson Athletics & Recreation Complex on Friday. It will be unveiled Saturday on the 70th anniversary of his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The Tribe is 7-4 on Jackie Robinson Day and won five consecutive contests between 2009-2016 (did not play on date in 2013 or 2014). Rachel Robinson has not been in the best of health this year, and her children said they were pleased - but not surprised - that she rallied to take a place of honor during the statue dedication in the afternoon and receive a standing ovation from the Dodger Stadium crowd in the evening.

So here's a player, a Hall of Famer, a pioneer, an American icon whose impact remains so profound that he's still being celebrated with a current jersey number - 20 years after all of baseball retired 42.

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The Los Angeles Dodgers are honoring a baseball great who broke racial barriers in the sport.

"If it wasn't for him, I wouldn't be in baseball and I wouldn't be working as a player and I wouldn't have this job".

We like to think that people like Jackie Robinson cured America's deepest evils and ushered in a time of acceptance, inclusion and understanding. Like most of her generation of African-Americans, baseball is not a "thing".

ESPN reports that this is the first statue of Jackie Robinson to be commissioned by the Dodgers franchise.

"I'm more happy because of his statue than the two I've got", Johnson said.

Robinson, raised in California, got a taste of the Canadian winter as the Royals capped off the year by beating the American Association's Louisville Colonels for the Junior World Series championship. Campanis also tutored Robinson on how to protect himself when opposing players tried to spike him, which happened more often because he was black.