April marked the 62th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's suiting up as a Brooklyn Dodger to become the first black man to break baseball's color line. Although Robinson was this
national drama's hero, his triumph also reflected a heroic American coming of age -- a moment that would be repeated again, 62 years later, during Barack Obama's inauguration as president. On April 15 players throughout Major League baseball wore Robinson's number, 42, in commemoration of the occasion.
Locally the celebration continues this month as Pasadena holds a Jackie Robinson All-Star Weekend in honor of No. 42, whose family moved there shortly after his birth. This Sunday, May 10, Mayor Bill Bogaard will present the key to the city to Rachel Robinson, Jackie's widow -- a former Pasadena resident who now lives in New York. The presentation will be the first time Pasadena has given its key to one of its own citizens.
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Weekend festivities include the Saturday groundbreaking of a $24
million expansion program for Jackie Robinson Park, which will make it
the San Gabriel Valley's largest sports complex. That event will be
followed by a Black History Parade and Celebrity All-Star Basketball Game at Pasadena City College, hosted by the California Coaches Coalition.