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Overshadowed by the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, Major League Baseball went on with ceremonies for the fifth Jackie Robinson Day at stadiums all over the country and north of the border in Toronto. All the teams in action were asked to wear Robinson’s number. Robinson’s debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, is drawing special attention this year with the release of the movie 42, which went into wide release last weekend. The motion picture was the #1 watched flick over the weekend.

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Robinson’s children and widow Rachel were introduced before the Los Angeles Dodgers played the San Diego Padres. Harrison Ford bounced a ceremonial first pitch to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. Ford plays ex-Brooklyn general manager Branch Rickey in 42. Rickey was the iconic executive that signed Robinson to a major league contract. The ballplayer was enjoying a Hall of Fame career in the Negro Leagues prior to his entry into the Major Leagues.

On the Minnestota Twins big screen, stock footage of Robinson was shown to an appreciative crowd and team. The Tampa Bay Rays spent the day at a 42 screening. In Miami’s ballpark, the ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by Norman Berman, the ballboy for the Brooklyn Dodgers when Robinson was a rookie. #42 will be universally retired when Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees retires at the end of the season. It’s been his number for his entire career. Teams not playing on Monday are planning to pay tribute to Jackie Robinson on Tuesday.

A Hollywood-and-Vine moment… when Hollywood meets Americana!


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