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Jackie Robinson Day – 2023


On April 15, 1947, it was Game 1 of the season for the visiting Boston Braves vs the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Jackie Robinson was the opening day 1B for Brooklyn, and the color barrier for MLB was officially broken.  Jackie did not get a hit that day, but he did reach on an error and scored on a double by Pete Reiser.  The Dodgers would beat Johnny Sain and earn a 5-3 victory.

Jackie would go on to have a 10 year HOF career all with the Brooklyn.

In March 2004, Commissioner Selig along with Sharon Robinson (Jackie’s daughter) would announce that in honor of Jackie Robinson, April 15, 2004, would become Jackie Robinson Day.  Festivities were scheduled for each of the 13 ballparks that had games that day.

In 2005, Selig announced that every April 15 will be known as Jackie Robinson Day, beginning April 15, 2005.  Unlike in 2004 when only 13 ballparks celebrated, each ballpark showed a video tribute to Jackie, and many brought out Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars onto the field before the games.

On April 15, 1997, 50 years after breaking the color barrier in MLB, Commissioner Bud Selig, President Bill Clinton, and Rachel Robinson (Jackie Robinson’s wife), formally retired #42 in a ceremony at Shea Stadium.  That would mean that no future ML player can wear #42.  Those that were then wearing the number could continue to wear that number while on that team.  Mariano Rivera was the last ML player to have 42 as his number until he retired after 2013.

April 15, 2007 would be the 60th anniversary, and MLB ceremonies were to be held at Dodger Stadium.  Despite #42 officially being retired, Ken Griffey Jr. requested that he be allowed permission to wear #42 in the game, and Rachel Robinson granted Junior her permission.  Commissioner Selig thought it was a wonderful idea and thought other teams could find a player to wear #42.

Several players thought having over 150 players wearing number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day was far too many.

“This is supposed to be an honor”, Minnesota Twins outfielder Torii Hunter told USA Today, “and just a handful of guys wearing the number. Now you’ve got entire teams doing it. I think we’re killing the meaning. It should be special wearing Jackie’s number, not just because it looks cool.”

Cleveland Indians pitcher CC Sabathia, who decried the lack of African-American players in the game in March 2007, told USA Today that

“It kind of waters it down. I could see the Dodgers since that was his team, but not everyone else.”

More than 240 players wore number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson’s retired number, including the entire team rosters of the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Pittsburgh Pirates.

For the Dodgers, Andre Ethier, Russell Martin, and Wilson Valdez would get 3 hits each.  Ethier hit a home run and the Dodgers had 6 doubles.  The Dodgers stole five bases — their most since August 23, 1999, when they stole seven in a game at Milwaukee. Randy Wolf was the Dodgers’ starting pitcher, allowed six hits and three runs in six innings and struck out seven.

“The whole team wearing No. 42, it kind of goes sour if we don’t win,” Wolf said. “It was great. There were a lot of special people here. It’s a special day and I think they did it right.”

The Dodgers beat the Padres 9-3 in 2007.

In 2014, Peter O’Malley would make the day a little more special, by celebrating at Dodgertown, Vero Beach.  O’Malley arranged for a MiLB exhibition game to be played at Dodgertown.

While the Los Angeles Dodgers and MLB annually celebrate Robinson each April 15, the club honored the Hall of Famer on the 70th anniversary of his breaking the color barrier by unveiling a statue in 2017.



Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, no games were played on April 15, 2020.  However Jackie Robinson Day was celebrated on August 28.  That day was not pulled out of a hat.  It actually was the 75th anniversary of the date Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson met to discuss Jackie joining the Dodgers.

On Jackie Robinson Day 2023, the Dodgers continued their 2023 seasonal offensive lethargy…until the 9th.  They did not have a hit since Miguel Vargas’ single in the 2nd inning until James Outman singled and Miguel Vargas doubled with one out in the 9th to put runners on 2nd and 3rd .   Jason Heyward after delivering a very heartfelt pre-game speech on the meaning of Jackie Robinson, came to the plate and was robbed by the umpire who called a ball a strike, that forced J-Hey to swing at the next pitch.  It may have been a ball, but with 2 strikes it looked like a strike long enough to offer.

But then David Peralta came up to PH for Miguel Rojas and grounded the first pitch through the hole between 1st and 2nd, to plate both of the Rookies.  On Jackie Robinson Day, it was the legs of Outman and Vargas that scored two in the 9th for the walkoff.



But it wasn’t just the Rookie bats that were the difference. It was a Rookie pitcher, Michael Grove, who had a bounceback game after his last horrid outing against Arizona, to pitch the best game of his MLB career.  He allowed a bloop single to Cody Bellinger before he made a mistake to Patrick Wisdom who hit a HR over the CF fence in the 5th.  After Michael retired the first two batters in the 6th, Doc made the decision that he wanted Ian Happ to bat RH against Alex Vesia rather than bat LH against Grove.  It worked as Happ fouled out on a pop up to Freddie.



After Seiya Suzuki singled in the 7th, the Dodgers did something they have done one other time this season…throw out a runner attempting to steal.  Austin Barnes does not have the best arm, but he has such a quick release.  The other SB’s were stolen on the pitchers.  Outside of Urias and Kershaw, no Dodger pitcher has much success holding down the running game.

Caleb Ferguson was nails after entering the 8th with one out and the bases loaded.  He got Happ and Suzuki chasing strike three to end the threat.  Shelby Miller once again was fantastic coming out of the pen in a high leverage situation.  He struck out Belli, and got Trey Mancini to pop out.  He walked Edwin Rios on a 3-2 pitch but got Patrick Wisdom to hit into a fielder’s choice.

Then the fireworks in the 9th.  Outman gets a bloop single, and Vargas lined a double down the 3rd base line.  How many times have we Dodger fans seen David Peralta beat the Dodgers?  Now he does it as a Dodger getting the first walk off hit for the Dodgers in 2023.

Michael Grove, James Outman, Miguel Vargas.  Those three should be instrumental in many LAD wins in the future.  It is good for the kids to have such great success.  I am just as certain that there will be more rookies getting experience at the MLB level this year.




After the great tribute Belli got on Friday, he found the boo birds after he stole a HR from Jason Heyward.  Belli is formally now an ex-Dodger.






For the record, the Dodgers are 16-3 on Jackie Robinson Day, and have won 9 in a row.  The Dodgers are back in 1st (tie with Arizona).


The Dodgers look to win the series against the Cubs on Sunday.   Julio Urías faces Drew Smyly.









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Worth repeating:

Michael Grove, James Outman, Miguel Vargas. Those three should be instrumental in many LAD wins in the future. It is good for the kids to have such great success. I am just as certain that there will be more rookies getting experience at the MLB level this year.”


Given that Betts can play second base it’s not just the outfielders who can feel what Pages is doing at AA.


Sweet win!! Ferguson is the unsung hero of the game. Putting out the fire in the 8th set up the walk off. What is wrong with Will Smith? Starting to get worried about him.

Jeff Dominique

He is “under the weather”. It was reported that he could have PH if needed. It is a long season, and they are not going to mess with whatever it is he is dealing with.




Grove apparently had strep throat issues in his first two starts so it was suggested that Smith might have the same issues.

Worried is fair considering how reluctant the team is with sharing accurate injury info.


Thanks Bum. I have been reading different speculation as to what is wrong with Willy. Concussion was suggested.


Turns out he has a concussion. I remember a foul tip banging into his facemask. Maybe some fans are right about him taking his cup to 3rd base.


Three names from MiLB last night:
Luke Williams. Jerming Rosario and Thayron Liranzo


Liranzo has some helium.


One of those games. 8 1/2 innings of angst and then relief as they get the win. Felt food for Peralta. So many fans have dissed the signing. Nice game by Grove. I really thought Bellinger handled the boo’s really well.


It did feel good to get the W and we’ll all take it. Let’s not get too excited It was a seeing eye single that had it been hit any harder might’ve resulted in Vargas being thrown out.


And last year’s shift would have resulted in an out.


In our first series against a team with better pitching, how have we looked so far?

Fred Vogel

It is becoming increasingly more difficult to watch MLB games thanks to the embarrassingly inept home plate umpires.


Robo-Umps can’t get here soon enough. Are there no consequences for poor umpiring? Evidently not.


3 games against better pitching than we’ve seen up to this point.

16 for 95, 34 strikeouts and 3-15 WRISP.

Is this a sample of who we are or just a 3 game blip in April?


Oh, one more thing, Martinez was given a hit on what was clearly an error by Swanson. I don’t care what Orel said, Orel is a homer, and a boring one at that. If Swanson fields that ball Martinez is out by 10’. So, JD is actually hitting .230, which is below his weight again. It wouldn’t matter what his average is if he was OPSn over .800. He isn’t.

I hope I am wrong about him. I’m prepared to eat the crow if I am.


Swanson did everything right except hold onto the ball. I’m glad he got a hit but yes, it was an error. Joc hit a 109 mph liner that tore through the webbing of the first baseman. It was originally ruled a hit but was later changed to an error. Both were either errors or both were hits.

I’m warming up to Martinez. I hope he continues to warm up with me.

Don’t look now but Vargas is defending second more like most thought he would before he looked good opening the season. His thumb might be affecting his hitting. Lets hope.

Outman trying to pull more pitches than he was early in the season. He seems to hit a ball hard in every at bat if foul balls are included.

Freeman in the last 6 games has looked a lot like Muncy in the first 10 games.

The Dodgers don’t yet have enough bats when Smith is not in the game. Maybe when he is in the game as well.

Busch and Pages pushing. Stone is not.

Grove pitches much better without strep throat. One more good game and Syndergaard could be on bubble when Pepiot and Gonsolin return.


uh, no

that’s not how baseball works

try again


The argument you just made sounds very much like your accusations.

I’m doing what I have always done, I call them as I see them.

If you don’t like it, say the word and I’m gone.


MLB needs to do something about the absolutely atrocious umpiring. How about a heads up display on the umps mask with an outline of the strike zone in it. I have seen so many bad balls and strikes calls it is getting really hard to enjoy games.


How about an electronic shock?


It really detracts from the game experience. What is more maddening is the fact that they have the means to fix the problem and they just continue to turn a blind eye to it. No repercussions for bad umpires.


Just use tennis technology.


The technology is there. In fact it’s been there for a while. Just use what you’ve been showing us for the last few years. If the box says it’s a strike, just call it a strike and all this criticism stops immediately.

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