Jackie Robinson Day to be celebrated throughout baseball on Saturday

(AP Photo, File). FILE - In this April 15, 1947, file photo, from left, Brooklyn Dodgers baseball players John Jorgensen, Pee Wee Reese, Ed Stanky and Jackie Robinson pose at Ebbets Field in NY.

FILE - In this 1962 file photo, former baseball player Jackie Robinson and his wife, Rachel, pose in their CT home in 1962.

Seventy years ago, Jackie Robinson became the first Major League Baseball player to break the color barrier.

Robinson's now iconic No. 42 is retired around baseball, featured on signs in every park around the majors, including Nationals Park, where it's on the facade below the second deck in right field, and since 2009, all major league players have worn his number on April 15th.

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There was, of course, much more, and yet it pales in comparison to Robinson's impact on baseball to this day. It was a big day for baseball, American history, and Cairo, Georgia. "He would have wanted that very much", Sharon Robinson said. "Here it is, 70 years later and he's still being recognized".

And we're not limiting that to Dodgers history, baseball history or sports history either.

I go back now to photos of Robinson, on that day in Cincinnati in the autumn of 1972.

The statue - on the reserve level, along the left-field line - will be dedicated Saturday afternoon, the reverence of the occasion such that it is invitation-only, the significance such that Sandy Koufax will be among the attendees.

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"So, it's great to think about it and to hold the guys in high esteem but every day is Jackie Robinson Day to me".

Sharon Robinson, Jackie's daughter, said she expects about 200 friends and family members - including her 94-year-old mother, Rachel - to attend the unveiling and ceremony on baseball's annual Jackie Robinson Day. He used to come home and say, 'They gave me a standing ovation, ' and [he] was so shocked. He won the World Series with the Dodgers in 1955.

That's quite a star-studded cast that will be on hand to honor Jackie Robinson and share the moment with his family. It was a time working- and middle-class men and woman of all ages, classes, races and religions commingled in the stands rooting for Jackie Robinson and his teammates, regardless of ethnic origin, game after game.

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