DETROIT (WWJ) – It was on this day, April 15, 1947, when Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier.
The movie “42” tells the story of how Robinson broke in with the Brooklyn Dodgers. A metro Detroit man had a personal encounter with Robinson. Edward Lakian of West Bloomfield got to play alongside Robinson during the Brooklyn Dodger’s Spring Training in 1950.
“There have been a lot of racist slurs against him, you know who gave him a lot of help was Hank Greenberg, you know, him being a Jewish ballplayer,” said Lakian. “They used to have a lot of attacks on him. You know, when he was playing in the big leagues because he was Jewish and he was an outstanding hitter.”
Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander tweeted Robinson’s number in reverence to the baseball great.
Lakian says Robinson was a good person, well-educated and a great athlete, and he managed to take everything in stride, despite all the obstacles he had to overcome.