In 1947, Branch Rickey put himself at the forefront of history when he signed Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking Major League Baseball's infamous color line. But the deal also put both Robinson and Rickey in the firing line of the public, the press and other players. Facing blatant racism from every side, even his own team, Robinson was forced to demonstrate tremendous courage and restraint by not reacting in kind, knowing that any incident could destroy his and Rickey's hopes. Instead, Number 42 let his talent on the field do the talking - ultimately winning over fans and his teammates, silencing his critics, and paving the way for others to follow. In 1997, Major League Baseball retired the number 42 for all teams, making it the first number in sports to be universally retired. The only exception is every year on April 15th - Jackie Robinson Day - commemorating the date of his first game as a Brooklyn Dodger. On that day alone, players from every team proudly wear the number 42 to honor the man who altered the course of history..
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