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11-22-2017, 07:20 PM
NEW YORK -- Marking the 67th anniversary of the day Jackie Robinson broke baseballs colour barrier, the Rev. Jesse Jackson praised Commissioner Bud Selig for the strides the sport has taken in minority opportunities over the past two decades. Jackson travelled to baseballs 1992 winter meetings to criticize its lack of minorities in management, and he pushed for change. Selig retired Robinsons No. 42 in 1997 on the 50th anniversary of the big league debut of the Brooklyn Dodgers first baseman. Selig established a Diverse Business Partners program the following year and in 1999 started requiring clubs to consider at least one minority for each manager and major executive opening. MLB also sponsors 35 Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars. Jackson said Jackie Robinson Day had become "a national holiday for all practical purposes." "To honour Jackie in this way honours the best in America," Jackson told Selig on Tuesday at MLBs third Diversity Business Summit. "In many ways, had Jackie not succeeded you could not have Atlanta Falcons or the Braves or the Carolina Panthers. You could not have these southern teams if Jackie had failed." Robinsons daughter, Sharon, presented Selig with a large plaque. Jackson spoke from the audience after Seligs speech and told him "you took to heart that challenge." "I guess if youre commissioner long enough, things can turn around," Selig said later. For the first time since Robinsons number was retired, no players in the major leagues were wearing No. 42. Players using the number were grandfathered at the time of Seligs announcement, and the last to use No. 42 was Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera, who retired at the end of last season. "Today all of our players league-wide will wear No. 42 to celebrate the man who helped change the future course of our game and more importantly our country," Selig said. A ceremony had been scheduled for Yankee Stadium to unveil a plaque commemorating Nelson Mandelas visit to the old Bronx ballpark in 1990. The Yankees game against the Chicago Cubs was rained out, and the ceremony, which includes Zondwa Mandela, a grandson of the late South African president, was pushed back until Wednesday evening. Selig frequently points out that Robinsons first game occurred more than a year before President Harry Truman desegregated the U.S. military and seven years before the Supreme Courts Brown v. Board of Education decision that ruled state laws requiring segregated public schools were unconstitutional. "Baseball must continue to be more than just a game on the field," Selig said. "The games remarkable ability to serve as a common bond should be used to create opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation or gender." Selig became acting commissioner in 1992 and got the job permanently in 1998. He plans to retire in January. He said the Diverse Business Partners program had led to purchases of more than $1 billion in goods and services from minority- and women-owned businesses. But the percentage of African-American players in the major leagues has been cut in half since peaking at about 18 per cent at times from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s. Seattle Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon, who is black, says some of this generations players dont know of Robinsons accomplishments. "They dont know a lot about the history, and I dont really blame it all on them. I think their generation is a generation that was force-fed these things," he said, holding up a smart phone. "Everythings now. Not much of an appreciation for the past and what it meant, particularly when it comes to baseball and baseball players. The paths that were paved for them, I dont think they really get it, or really understand it." Reilly Smith Jersey (http://www.hockeypanthersofficialonline.com/reilly-smith-hockey-jersey/) . 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His opposition on the mound, Clay Buchholz, has been on point of late for the Red Sox, winning three of his last four decisions, including his last two starts. After tossing a three-hit shutout to beat Houston before the All-Star break, Buchholz defeated Kansas City on Friday, limiting the Royals to four runs and 10 hits in six innings to run his record to 5-5 to go along with a 5.46 ERA. After getting hammered in Mondays opener, Toronto bounced back on Tuesday, as Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera and Dioner Navarro all drove in a pair of runs to help the Blue Jays to a 7-3 win. Navarro doubled and homered, while Reyes added a solo shot among his three hits and Cabrera finished 3-for-5 for tthe Blue Jays, who rebounded from Mondays series-opening 14-1 loss.dddddddddddd J.A. Happ (8-5) tossed six scoreless innings, allowing seven hits and one walk while fanning four. "That might have been, in my opinion, his best outing of the year," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Happ. Stephen Drew hit a two-run homer and David Ortiz collected a solo blast for the Red Sox, who saw their five-game winning streak come to an end. Jake Peavy (1-9) lasted 6 1/3 innings, and was charged with five runs on eight hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. "Its frustrating to lose," said Peavy. "Run support and no run support, its not fun to lose." "I gave up some loud outs and some loud hits for the first couple of innings, but thats another team that swings the bat, and they put some balls in play that found some holes and led to a couple of runs," Buchholz said Friday. "The way the guys fought back tonight ... that was reminiscent of last year." Buchholz is 1-1 against the Jays this season and 10-6 lifetime against them with a 2.71 ERA in 20 games (19 starts). Toronto has won five of its eight meetings with the Red Sox this season. 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