Between those two dates, Jackie Robinson made his debut in April of 1947, breaking 60 years of segregation -- and not merely in baseball. About 26,000 fans saw him play that day, but when Commissioner Selig retired his number 42, 50 years later, all Americans knew his story. No other baseball player entering the Majors will ever wear No. 42. Baseball, and its fans, form a social institution entwined within this greatest of countries.
From a mere 60 folks in a small Philadelphia room in June 1776, to this day, January 20, 2009, with millions upon millions watching, we at MLB.com don't merely pause to watch and admire this young man swear his oath to the Constitution; we recollect, we remember and we rejoice.