Who is your team's Number 42?

Jackie RobinsonToday is Jackie Robinson Day. It's a testimonial not only to one man's incredible courage, perseverance and character, but to the essential contributions of an entire organization required to make his achievements possible.

Here's the history:

On this day in 1947, Jackie Robinson made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African-American to play in a major league baseball game. He endured racist taunts, threats, even personal attacks in paving the way for the emergence of racial equality in professional sports.

But he did not the attacks deter him. He earned the National League rookie of the year honor in 1947. In 1949, he was selected as the NL's Most Valuable player of the Year and also won the batting title with a .342 average that same year. He retired in ____ and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

Initially, Robinson's teammates were not all supportive. Some joined in the jeers and insults. But Branch Rickey, the president of the team, declared his unequivocal support and rallied the team around him. As his ability became apparent - particularly his ability to help the team win games - both teammates and opponents learned to accept him and the inevitability of change.

On this day in 1997, 50 years after his historic debut, Robinson's jersey number, 42, was retired throughout Major League Baseball, the first time any jersey number had been retired throughout one of the four major American sports leagues.

Since this day in 2007, players are allowed to wear 42 on their Jerseys on Jackie Robinson day to honor him.

Think about your organization. Who is your number 42?

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