Daytona Cubs Celebrate Jackie Robinson’s Birthday

Hall of Famer would have turned 90 on January 31

 

In honor of Jackie Robinson’s 90th birthday, the Daytona Cubs celebrated by spending time with former Negro League baseball player Doc Graham at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. A Jacksonville-native, Graham played against Robinson in the early 1940’s and became good friends with the former Brooklyn Dodger.

Jack Roosevelt “Jackie” Robinson was born January 31, 1919 in Georgia and would eventually break the Major League Baseball color barrier on April 15, 1947. A year earlier, Robinson played the first integrated, professional baseball game in Daytona on March 17, 1946.

When asked of Robinson’s legacy, Graham said simply, “Had Jackie failed [in the major leagues], you would not have seen any other blacks in professional baseball”. Graham also says he was grateful for Robinson’s friendship and generosity, especially since Graham grew up a Yankees fan and Robinson played with the rival Dodgers.

Jackie Robinson Ballpark is also home to the Jackie Robinson Museum, featuring displays of Robinson’s accomplishments, and those of other barrier breakers in sports. The museum is open every weekday 9-5 and free to the public.