The movement spearheaded by Ashland rabbi David Zaslow to honor Jackie Robinson has gained steam and made big-city news. The New York Times published a story on Monday by Hunter Atkins about Zaslow’s Campaign 42. It was accompanied by a photo of the Ashland High baseball team taken by local photographer Andy Atkinson.
The Ashland Daily Tidings and Mail Tribune earlier ran stories by John Darling on Campaign 42.
Upon seeing major league players wear No. 42 in Robinson’s honor four years ago, Zaslow — who was raised in New York as a diehard Brooklyn Dodgers fan, for whom Robinson played — got the notion to expand awareness of the national icon to youth players.
Wrote Atkins of Robinson, who broke the color barrier in the big leagues on April 15, 1947, he “became the face of racial change in America. His story of surmounting bigotry to integrate baseball would inspire a world far beyond the confines of the ballpark. The No. 42 on his back would become the indelible symbol of his legacy.”
With Campaign 42, beginning last week, nearly 2,600 players ages 4 to 18 wore No. 42 stickers on their jerseys. The stickers come with fliers explaining Robinson’s contribution to American history, wrote Atkins, and coaches and parents are encouraged to educate players about social inequality during Robinson’s time.