A detailed account of Jackie Robinson’s first day in the Majors

On this date 68 years ago, Jackie Robinson forever changed baseball and society when he broke the color barrier by making his Major League debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers on Opening Day of the 1947 season. Today is Jackie Robinson Day, an occasion when we pay tribute to one of the great heroes of our national pastime.

Dodger Insider

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By Jon Weisman

In 2007, I wrote the following piece for SI.com on what it was like for Jackie Robinson on April 15, 1947.

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For most of us who didn’t live through Jackie Robinson’s first day in the major leagues, black and white images have embedded it in our memories. A stark snapshot of Robinson in his Brooklyn Dodgers cap, or frames of newsreel footage showing him running the bases.

According to Jonathan Eig’s new book, Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season, when Robinson awoke early that day at Manhattan’s McAlpin Hotel, the sight before him, his wife, Rachel, and five-month-old son, Jack, Jr., was vivid and suggested anything but the historic day that was upon him.

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