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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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April 15th, 2014
05:13 PM ET

The day #42 broke the color line: Honoring Jackie Robinson

(CNN) – When pitcher Mariano Rivera stepped off the mound for the final time last season, he became the last professional baseball player ever to regularly wear the number 42.

That's the only number retired across all of Major League Baseball, because Jackie Robinson owns that one, now and forever.

It was exactly 67 years ago today that Robinson became the first African-American to break baseball's color line by suiting up for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

His contract paved the way for so many players that would follow like Willie Mays and Hank Aaron.

And it's why today, all of baseball honors this civil rights pioneer by donning his number.

Happy anniversary to one of my heroes.

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