Indians honor, reflect on Jackie Robinson Day

Indians honor, reflect on Jackie Robinson Day

KANSAS CITY -- As players slowly began to put on their No. 42 jersey tops on Sunday, the significance of Jackie Robinson Day resonated within the Indians' clubhouse.

"Gratefully, it has become more and more talked about with each passing year," Cleveland first baseman Casey Kotchman said. "There has been increasing awareness of all he did and all he meant. It's a privilege and an honor to play the game that Jackie Robinson played."

Marking the 65th anniversary of Robinson breaking the game's color barrier, there were special pregame ceremonies in all Major League home parks on Sunday. The Indians are one of the road clubs that will hold a Jackie Robinson Day commemoration when they return home later this month.

"When you see that No. 42 retired in all the ballparks, it's like 'wow, this is special,'" Kotchman said.

Indians manager Manny Acta pointed to Jackie Robinson Day as a time for reflection.

"It has a lot of meaning to me," Acta said. "Those guys paved the way, starting with Jackie and following with Larry Doby in Cleveland. And then going to the coaching side with Frank Robinson, the first African-American manager and [first Dominican-born manager] Felipe Alou, who opened the door for guys like me."