Jackie Robinson once said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” Every single time any fans of the New York Mets enter Citi Field, they’re constantly reminded about that historic quote as they enter the rotunda named after him. Every year Major League Baseball honors the impact Robinson had on professional baseball by having every single player wear his jersey number to remember his legacy. Each and every year on “Jackie Robinson Day”, it has a much bigger meaning than just every player wearing the No. 42.
The fact that he wasn’t given a chance to play in the sport he loves due to the color of his skin was ridiculous. The true embodiment of a team is not the color of your skin, your sexual preference or the religion you choose but to work together towards victory as a family. It’s about being given a fair opportunity to compete and help contribute to the overall success of your team. One can only imagine how difficult it was during his era to deal with all this when he simply wanted to play baseball. Robinson was given an opportunity of a lifetime to usher in one of the greatest sports stories ever told. He dealt with racism and hostility even though he was one of the most kindest and genuine human beings you could ever ask to be associated with.
Breaking the color barrier once and for all in professional baseball, Robinson was able to convince the world that he was much more than just a terrific baseball player. He had integrity, honor and most of all, greatness. He was given a chance to show what he could accomplish and did so with such a degree of excellence; he pioneered that everyone is equal in the world of sports regardless of your color.
Greatness isn’t just what occurs on a baseball field; it’s something that embodies a culture that one can do anything their heart desires as long as you never give up. When you retire a jersey number across an entire league, it encompasses what real legends are made of. Simply wearing Robinson’s jersey number isn’t just for show; it’s to thank him for what he did not only to professional baseball but across all sports around the world. He has and will continue to inspire millions across the globe to always rise above obstacles and keep moving forward.
Robinson’s quotes were inspiring because he spoke from the heart and played like a champion. Out of all his quotes, one in particular stands out that everyone should read first thing to get their day started right.
“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.”