Camas High School college and career readiness teacher and varsity baseball coach Stephen Short reflected on the impact Jackie Robinson left not only on the sport of baseball but on the world.
Every year on April 15th, every single MLB player wears his number, 42, in honor of his historic legacy.
- What does Jackie Robinson represent to you?
“First I’d like to suggest to anyone who sees this to watch Ken Burns documentary on Jackie Robinson. This film really demonstrates the intense level of racism and inequality that Robinson has to overcome. Jackie to me, Robinson represents a person of incredible character and determination.”
- How does Jackie Robinson inspire you?
“In many ways the pursuit for equality and anti-racism that Jackie fought for is similar to what we are experiencing today. Jackie Robinson inspires me to stay resilient when taking on the challenges we face in life and stand against racism and social inequality.”
- What kind of legacy did he leave on the sport of baseball/American sports?
“Jackie Robinson is the single most important person in the history of all American sports. When you look at the data or watch a game we see the impact Robinson had on the game. Baseball has become an international game with nearly half the players in the MLB being non-White. To put it into perspective, Jackie Robinson’s number 42 is the only retired number in all of baseball meaning no player on any team in the league is allowed to wear it. The MLB celebrates Jackie Robinson Day every April 15th (the day of his MLB debut in 1947) by allowing every player in the league to wear the same number 42 in honor of Robinson. This is such a meaningful tribute within the league because of what Jackie did for the sport and society.”
- How has he continued to impact the world today?
“Robinson’s impact on civil rights in the U.S. continued after his retirement from baseball in 1957. He was a prominent figure in the Civil Rights Movement and became close friends with Martin Luther King Jr. who once said Robinson “was a sit-inner before sit-ins, a freedom rider before freedom rides.” I think we can still see and hear the impact of Robinson today. The things he stood for and messages he delivered continue to resonate within our pursuit for equal rights in America.”