This Day In Dodgers History: Jackie Robinson Awarded Presidential Medal Of Freedom

Jackie Robinson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the highest civilian honor — by President Ronald Reagan on March 26, 1984. Rachel Robinson attended the White House ceremony to accept the honor on behalf of her late husband.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom is designed to recognize individuals who have made “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

It was established by President Harry S. Truman (as the Medal of Freedom) in 1945 to honor service during World War II, and President John F. Kennedy reintroduced the recognition as the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 to recognize “distinguished civilian service in peace time.”

Robinson famously broke MLB’s color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. The date is now celebrated each year, which includes all uniformed personnel being permitted to wear his iconic No. 42.

Robinson spent the entirety of his 10-year career with the Dodgers, batting .311/.409/.474 with 137 home runs, 273 triples, 734 RBI and 197 stolen bases. He was a National League Rookie of the Year winner, and voted the 1949 MVP.

Robinson among players to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Robinson is among a total of 12 baseball players who have been honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully also is a recipient, when he was recognized by President Barack Obama in 2016.

The complete list of baseball players to be given a Presidential Medal of Freedom is: Moe Berg (1945), Joe DiMaggio (1977), Robinson (1984), Ted Williams (1991), Hank Aaron (2002), Roberto Clemente (2003), Frank Robinson (2005), Buck O’Neil (2006), Stan Musial (2010), Ernie Banks (2013), Yogi Berra (2015), Babe Ruth (2018) and Mariano Rivera (2019)

Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium

The Dodgers again will be at home for Jackie Robinson Day, with their 2022 schedule calling for a matchup against the Cincinnati Reds.

The Dodger Stadium giveaway that evening is a replica Robinson jersey to the first 40,000 ticketed fans in attendance (while supplies last).

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