College basbeall: UCLA honors Jackie Robinson with throwback uniform
LOS ANGELES -- For the second consecutive season, UCLA will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day by wearing commemorative uniforms that pay homage to the Bruin icon. This season adidas, in partnership with UCLA, has created a new throwback jersey, hat and cleat that UCLA will wear in its April 15 Jackie Robinson Day game at Washington.
Paying tribute to the man that shattered Major League Baseball’s color barrier in the stadium that bears his name, the Bruins will also honor Robinson by wearing last year’s Jackie Robinson Day uniform on the final Tuesday home game prior to the Washington road trip – April 12 versus Loyola Marymount.
The UCLA adidas baseball retro uniforms feature classic Bruins lettering across the chest along with a commemorative “42" embroidered into the center of a baseball diamond on the arm sleeve. Further honoring Robinson’s legacy and time as a Bruin, the baseball cap features a retro “B” Bruin logo stitched onto applique wool materials that aim to replicate the uniforms and caps that players wore during the 1940s. Additionally, the TECHFIT baselayer features an image of a hand-drawn sketch of Robinson stealing and sliding into second base on the chest and inspirational Robinson quotes on the back.
Seventy-seven years ago, Jackie Robinson claimed a place at UCLA. From 1939 to 1941, he starred in four sports. In football, Robinson played both offense and defense, returned punts, caught and threw passes, kicked extra points and in the process, earned honorable mention All-American accolades. In basketball, he twice led the Pacific Coast Conference in scoring. In track, he won the NCAA championship in the broad jump. And in baseball, he began his legendary journey as a highly-regarded shortstop for the Bruins.
Six years later, Jackie Robinson claimed a place in history. Wearing number 42 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, on April 15, 1947, Robinson shattered the color barrier in Major League Baseball forever. Despite enduring racial abuse, jeers of fans and fellow players, death threats and profound harassment, he endured it all with grace and dignity – not to mention exceptional play – earning Rookie of the Year honors and a National League Most Valuable Player award in addition to helping the Dodgers win the 1955 World Series. A career .311 hitter, Robinson played in six World Series, six consecutive All-Star games was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 during his first year of eligibility.
Fighting tirelessly for civil rights and integration in professional sports long after his time on the diamond was over, Robinson perhaps best summed up his own legacy with a typically understated yet poignant quote – “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
In 2014, UCLA announced that all recreation and athletics facilities would forever be part of the newly named “Jackie Robinson Athletics and Recreation Complex.” In conjunction with the naming of the recreation and athletics facilities in honor of Robinson, UCLA Athletics also retired the number 42 across all sports. Subsequently, this past March, UCLA unveiled a 42-inch tall number 42 bronze monument in the center of campus to recognize the civil rights pioneer’s remarkable contributions not just to this university and game of baseball, but to the entire country and all of mankind.