By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
Jackie Robinson day is celebrated in baseball throughout all of Major League Baseball. Every April 15th is celebrated as Jackie Robinson Day and the Dodgers have a home game.
Due to COVID-19 last year’s JRD was held in August. This years celebration was extra special as fans were allowed into Dodger Stadium fir the first time just last week for their home opener. There were 15,129 fans in attendance for this day.
Trailing Colorado 2-0 in the bottom of the third following a Julio Urias single and a Chris Taylor walk Justin Turner went to “Rip City” launching a three-run homer over the centerfield wall. That gave LA a 3-2 lead. Turner had singled in the first and doubled in the fifth. That was his seventh multi-hit game of the season.
Later in the seventh again trailing 5-3 after Matt Beaty and Turner walked Max Muncy went “Uptown” with a shot over the right centerfield fence for a two out homer giving the Dodgers a 6-5 lead. Later in the Will Smith scored on a wild pitch Rockies reliever Tyler Kinley to make it 7-5.
Urias started on the hill and went six innings giving up seven hits and five runs while striking out six on 90 pitches. Jimmie Nelson retired the side in the seventh and Dennis Santana threw a one-two-three eight.
David Price pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his first ever save in 325 career regular season games. “This is the first time I got to pitch on this day (Jackie Robinson)”, said the Cy Young winner. “This is special to me “
Before this game manager Dave Roberts and Dodger players stood out in front of the Jackie Robinsons statue located in the centerfield plaza at Dodger Stadium.
“I have worn the number 42 on other uniforms but to wear it as a Major League ball player is certainly special,” said Roberts. “But to wear it with the Dodgers across the front of your chest is more magnified.”
Roberts, Price and Mookie Betts donated their Jackie Robinson Days full game salary (around $275,000) to the Players Alliance, a non- profit organization founded by former and active players looking to improve Black Americans representation of the sport. Last Year the Alliance raised over 1 million dollars on Jackie Robinson Day.
The Dodgers went on to take two of three from the Padres. Despite the loss in the final game of the series and a 4-3 loss to the Mariners the following night. LA has won every series this season and has a MLB best 13-4 record (at press time).
ADD DODGERS: Skipper Roberts currently has the highest winning percentage 62% of any manager in MLB history. He’s also the only manager in sports history to lead his team to a divisional-titles in his first five years at the helm.