MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins celebrated the 69th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier with a pregame ceremony before Friday's game against the Angels on Jackie Robinson Day at Target Field.
The Twins showed a video honoring Robinson and highlighting his impact on baseball, while Jackie Robinson Essay winners were also presented with their awards. With Robinson in mind, the Twins also celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Twins Community Fund, which benefits the Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI) Program.
Additionally, as has been tradition every April 15 since 2009, Major League Baseball celebrated Jackie Robinson Day with all players and on-field personnel wearing No. 42. Robinson's No. 42 was retired across all of Major League Baseball in 1997.
"What Jackie Robinson did was more for our country than it was for baseball," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia, who played his entire 13-year career with the Dodgers. "Unfortunately, I never had the privilege to meet Jackie Robinson, but I've had a lot of talks with a lot of his teammates. I think he represents everything that this country's about, and I think we're very privileged and all proud to wear No. 42 today."
Twins rookie center fielder Byron Buxton, who is African-American, said it was an honor to wear No. 42, but was held out of the starting lineup with a bruised left hand.
"He fought for what he did to come out here and play," Buxton said. "If it wasn't for him, I probably wouldn't be able to play this game. A lot can be said about it, but I'm just glad I'm able to have the opportunity to come out here and play this game every day, and not only try to make myself better, but also make other people better."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.