Back in 1997 Major League Baseball retired Jackie Robinson's number 42 across the game, 25 years after the Dodgers retired the number. The ceremony took place on the 50th anniversary of Robinson's debut, with President Bill Clinton and commissioner Bud Selig in attendance along with Rachel Robinson at Shea Stadium, where the Dodgers battled the Mets.
The Dodgers lost that game 5-0 to the Mets.
The next big Apr. 15 event came in 2004, when Jackie Robinson Day became an official annual tradition in MLB. Here is how the Dodgers have done on Jackie Robinson Day for the last decade:
- 2004: Dodgers 7, Padres 5*
- 2005: Dodgers 4, Padres 0
- 2006: Dodgers 3, Giants 1
- 2007: Dodgers 9, Padres 3
- 2008: Dodgers 11, Pirates 2
- 2009: Dodgers 5, Giants 4
- 2010: Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 5 (10)
- 2011: Cardinals 11, Dodgers 2
- 2012: Dodgers 5, Padres 4
The Dodgers have done quite well on the official Jackie Robinson Day at 8-1, with their only loss coming two years ago. In particular, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp have been magnificent on Apr. 15. Ethier has started the last six Jackie Robinson Days and Kemp has started the last five, and each has at least one hit and either a run scored or run batted in, or both, in every game.
In six Apr. 15 games, Ethier is hitting .423/.483/.654 with three doubles, a home run, eight RBI, and seven runs scored, and one walk-off single (in 2010). In five Jackie Robinson Days, Kemp is hitting .476/.500/.905 with two home runs, a triple, a double, a stolen base, six RBI, and five runs scored.