With the 2022 Major League Baseball All-Star Game taking place in Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, there was no way the event could happen without a tribute to the most influential Dodger ever: Jackie Robinson. And there’s no one better to deliver that moment than Denzel Washington.
According to Deadline, the Oscar-winning legend took the field during pre-game ceremonies to give a speech honoring Robinson’s impact on both baseball and the rest of the world:
“Ebbets Field, Brooklyn 1947. When Jackie Robinson stepped onto a Major League Baseball field for the first time, armed with supreme talent and unshakable character, and wearing a Dodgers uniform, he changed the game of baseball, and so much more. What he carried with him, what he represented, was towering.”
“On the field, he was the Rookie of the Year, a Most Valuable Player, a World Series champion, and a seven time All Star. Beyond the field, Jackie Robinson challenged us to become better versions of ourselves. Business leader, family man, activist, Hall of Famer.”
“He said that life is not a spectator sport. And he lived that model to the fullest. Whether it was charging down the baselines, or standing tall for opportunity and justice, No. 42 blazed a trail that would light the way for people of every walk of life and every color and to this very day, every generation. That inspiration, that profound impact looms just as large today, as it did 75 years ago.”
If you need someone to give an emotional, stirring speech about Jackie Robinson and keep an entire baseball stadium captivated, the only possible choice is Denzel.
The game and tribute coincided with the 100th birthday of Jackie’s wife Rachel Robinson. As Dodgers All-Star Mookie Betts welcomed fans to the game, he took a moment to mark the occasion by having the crowd wish her “Happy Birthday, Rachel.”
As for the actual All-Star game, in case you’re interested, the American League defeated the National League 3-2 and the New York Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton was the MVP.