Jackie Robinson Day Continues to Honor First African-American Player in MLB As His Legacy Lives On

April 16 marked the 64th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's debut in Major League Baseball.

Robinson, then 28, failed to gather a hit in his first-ever appearance, but his impact marked a turning point in MLB, and baseball has never been the same.

In 1997, Robinson became the first professional athlete to have his number systematically retired by every team in the league.

In 2007, Ken Griffey Jr. asked permission from Robinson's wife, Rachel to wear the famed jersey on Jackie Robinson day, and the tradition stuck. The league started commemorating the historical day by having every player wear No. 42 to honor baseball's first African-American player every April.

Robinson's legacy left a profound impact on baseball that is still felt today, as a 2008 study showed that the percentage of black players in baseball has continued to increase over the past four seasons.

TMZ logo

© 2018 NESN

Partner of USATODAY Sports Digital Properties