Jackie Robinson, # 42, played in his first major league game on April 15, Opening Day, 1947.
The United States was forever changed.
Integration, Civil Rights, hinted at as a burning need when the African-American soldiers came home from World War II with fewer freedoms than the countries they helped free.
Now baseball, the American National Pastime, was integrated.
Just his playing skills would have been enough to get him into the Hall of Fame. Being the first to break the "color barrier" in MLB made it more than about baseball. His character as a human being, unwilling to bend and lower himself, yet never resorting to returning hatred for hatred, shines through these 69 years later.
If you didn't get to see the Ken Burns produced program on PBS on Mr. Robinson, do so. It's more than baseball; it shows what makes the United States who we are- for both better and worse- and calls us to be more than we have been before.