Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 4/12/13
Pretty soon you’ll be hearing a lot of Jackie Robinson comparisons in the media; if you haven’t already. Since we’ll likely soon see the first ever openly gay athlete in the four major sports come out. Early word is the NFL will be first, but the NHL may have fostered a more conducive environment for it. When this guy(s) do/does come out, you’ll hear a lot of Jackie Robinson comparisons. So it’s fitting the Jackie Robinson biopic 42: The True Story of An American Legend is released nationwide today. The Chicago Cubs announced they will honor the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier next Tuesday.  This historic moment is celebrated league-wide each year, April 15, with all uniformed personnel wearing Robinson’s retired number in honor of the legendary Hall of Famer. So here’s some good news coming out of Cubs land. It’s not all severed goat heads and super-prospects going “Batman.” “Jackie Robinson is a true American hero, and we are all greatly indebted to his contribution to not only baseball, but to American history and culture.”  said Tom Ricketts, chairman, Chicago Cubs. The Cubs will honor Jackie Robinson during a pregame ceremony, and players of both teams will wear number 42.  And nearly 50 “42” flags will adorn the roof of Wrigley Field. Hall of Famers Ernie “Mr. Cub” Banks and “Sweet Swinging” Billy Williams will be recognized.  Banks shares a special kinship with Robinson as the first African-American to play for the Chicago Cubs.  Banks considered Jackie Robinson a mentor during their time in MLB.   Banks and Jackie Robinson also share the same birthday, January 31.  Banks turned 82 this year while Robinson would have been 94.  Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., founder and president, Rainbow Push Coalition, will throw out one of the first balls Tuesday night.  Jackson and Jackie Robinson were friends, and Rev. Jackson gave the eulogy at Robinson’s funeral services in Brooklyn, NY. John C. McGinley will join Rev. Jackson for the first ball.  McGinley played the Brooklyn play-by-play announcer Red Barber in the Jackie Robinson movie. McGinley will also serve as the Guest Conductor for the 7th Inning Stretch. Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an author and regular contributor to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, and Walter Football. Banks has appeared on Comcast SportsNet and the History Channel, as well as Clear Channel, ESPN and CBS radio all over the world. President Barack Obama follows him on Twitter (@PaulMBanks) The post Chicago Cubs celebrating Jackie Robinson Day on Tuesday appeared first on The Sports Bank.Net.
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