After apology, Philly among many Jackie Robinson tributes

York Dispatch

About 100 children, city leaders and baseball fans — some wearing Jackie Robinson jerseys — gathered in Philadelphia to honor the baseball pioneer in a city where he experienced racism as Major League Baseball's first black player nearly 70 years ago.

In a May 9, 1947 file photo, Jackie Robinson, left, Brooklyn Dodgers' first baseman, looks over the bat Philadelphia Phillies manager Ben Chapman uses during practice, as he prepared to play his first Philadelphia game for the Dodgers. The Philadelphia City Council unanimously passed a resolution Thursday, March 31, 2016, naming April 15, 2016 as a day to honor Robinson's achievements and to apologize for the racism he faced while visiting Philadelphia in 1947. Robinson was refused service by a local hotel and then taunted by Philadelphia Phillies manager Ben Chapman, who, along with players, mercilessly hurled racial slurs at Robinson each time he came to bat. (AP Photo, File)

The City Council is highlighting an official apology during a ceremony Friday honoring the first black Major League player. It issued the apology in a resolution last month.

Among those donning a Robinson jersey was 79-year-old Carolyn Mitchell. She says she saw him play in Philadelphia in the early 1950s and he was "unbelievable." Mitchell, who is black, says she wanted to be a part of Friday's commemoration because the Robinson family was meaningful to her.

Robinson was told to "go back to the cotton fields" by the manager of the Philadelphia Phillies when the team hosted his Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. He was also refused service at a hotel and taunted by players who hurled racial slurs when he came to bat.

Ballparks around the country are also celebrating Robinson's breakthrough career on the 69th anniversary of his breaking the league's color barrier.