Red Sox reflect on Jackie's far-reaching impact

'It's only right that No. 42 is retired,' Farrell says

Red Sox reflect on Jackie's far-reaching impact

BOSTON -- Red Sox manager John Farrell may never have met Jackie Robinson, but the icon's impact on baseball and society isn't lost on him.

"You could say a lot of different things about Jackie's importance to baseball, and in many ways, the game reflects society," Farrell said. "For Jackie, as we've come to know, to perform at the level that he did and the opportunities he has allowed for others, it's only right that No. 42 is retired and a day is in his honor. His impact reached far beyond the game of baseball."

Friday marked the 69th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers and Major Leauge Baseball's 13th annual Jackie Robinson Day.

All Red Sox players and personnel wore No. 42 jerseys for Friday's game against the Blue Jays. Jackie Robinson Scholars were also featured as part of the pregame ceremonies.

"He defied the odds," Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. said. "All he wanted to do was play the game that he loved. His persistence is why he's applauded so greatly to this day. It allows anyone from any ethnicity to be able to play this game.

"By him even playing the game, he had that fighting spirit. It's a competitive mentality. He knew it would make things better for himself, his teammates and, later on, the rest of the world."

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.