42  The story of  Jackie Robinson the first African-American to intergrate  the major leagues opens in theatres today.Now I'm not old enough to have seen Jackie play as he broke into the majors in 1947 with  the Brooklyn Dodgers, but i remember my grandfather a die hard Yankees fan telling me stories about how great Jackie was, which is remarkable in it self as the Yankees and  Dodgers fans hated each other.But  as  a Black man in the late 40's and  50's  the pride of seeing one of your own break the color barrier overcame any team loyalty. 42 also tells the story of Branch Rickey who signed Robinson in 1946 putting both himself and Robinson in the firing line of the public. Facing unabashed racism from ever side,Robinson was forced to accept the racial tauts from opposing players and his  own teammates  while showing courage and restraint by not reacting  in any way,knowing that any incident would damage  the hopes of any other Black man being given a chance to play Major League Baseball.Instead Robinson let his talents do the talking on the field winning rookie of the year honors,gaining the respect of his teammates, silencing his critics and paving the way for other Blacks to follow in his footsteps.In 1997  Major league Baseball retired the number 42 for all teams making it the first number to be universally retired. The only exception is  April 15th - Jackie Robinson Day - commemorating the date of his first game as a Brooklyn Dodger.On that day players from every team proudly wear number 42 to honor the man who made history.