Appreciation For Jackie Robinson More Than Baseball For Bees’ Davis
SALT LAKE CITY – Teams across professional baseball will honor Jackie Robinson on the 75th anniversary of his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.
Robinson became the first black person to play in a Major League game since Moses Fleetwood Walker in 1884 when he played first base for the Dodgers just five days after signing with the franchise.
Salt Lake Bees infielder/outfielder Brendon Davis spoke about the influence Robinson had on the world.
“I wouldn’t be here without him.” Davis began, “Even past baseball, just the world in general, he changed so many lives. It changed the game of baseball, but he also changed the world. And I think that’s the most important part is not everything’s about baseball. It’s that he took baseball, and used that to change the world. Without him I wouldn’t be here. So many other players wouldn’t be here in history, it wouldn’t be the same.”
Robinson went on to win the inaugural Rookie of the Year award and finished fifth in the MVP voting. In 151 games in 1947, Robinson hit 12 home runs, logged 175 base hits with a .297 average and led the league with 29 stolen bases. All while dealing with insults and hatred from fans and players alike.
“He didn’t want to be judged on skin color. He just wanted to go out there and help the team win,” Davis said. “The amount of heat that he took from fans, it’s hard to imagine, to be able to do what he did and to play at the at the level that he played at; it’s unbelievable.”
Davis also spoke of the hate he has heard from fans, “There’s still a lot of work to be done. There’s still some things that we hear today that, you know, people were saying the same thing back back then to Jackie, we still hear it today. So I think there’s still some ways to go but he definitely blazed the path. And like I said, done so much for the black community, black players and the game in general, no matter what skin color, you are all minorities, it did so much for all of us. So we’re very thankful for him.”
Since April 15, 2004 all MLB teams and a number of teams across minor league baseball have worn the number 42 to honor Robinson on the anniversary of his debut. Davis talked about the honor of wearing No. 42 on his back. ” It means the world to us. Like I said, he means so much to everybody, not just black players, all players, all baseball players and all people around the world. So it means a lot to be able to put on the 42 It’s a pretty special day.”