Jackie Robinson continues to inspire 75 years after Dodgers debut

Robinson became the first Black player to play in the MLB on April 15, 1947.
It has been 75 years since Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier with the Brooklyn...
It has been 75 years since Jackie Robinson broke baseball's color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers.(WBTV)
Published: Apr. 15, 2022 at 11:31 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - It’s been 75 years since Jackie Robinson put on the Brooklyn Dodgers uniform and launched a Hall-of-Fame career, becoming the first Black MLB player in the process.

Tonight, the Charlotte Knights honored Robinson by dedicating tonight’s game to him. Every player for the Knights and across the major leagues also wore No. 42 on their backs in honor of the legend.

Larry LeGrande and Sam Allen, both former baseball players, and both Black men, were in the stands at Truist Field to celebrate the occasion.

“Look at that right there, that’s me,” LeGrande said while watching the game. “I played for the Memphis Red Sox, Kansas City Monarchs.”

Both LeGrande and Robinson played for the Monarchs, prior to earning spots on MLB-affiliated rosters. LeGrande never saw a pitch in the majors, but spent one season in the New York Yankees’ minor-league system.

As for Allen, he and LeGrande were opponents, but had a similar inspiration: Robinson.

“The reason I’m a baseball fan is because every time I said I want to be like Jackie Robinson,” Allen said. “I want to be like Jackie Robinson.”

“He broke the color barrier for black and white America,” LeGrande said. “All ball players benefitted from Jackie Robinson.”

While the former opponents can sit back and banter back-and-forth, they can do so knowing that Robinson paved the way for players like them.

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