In front of 27,623 fans at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn 28-year old Jackie Robinson became the first black player to play in a Major League game in the 20th century. Robinson did not have his best game, he went 0-3 with one run scored, but the fact that he played in not just that game but 1,381 more through 1956 opened the door for some of the best players in the game to follow. Robinson ended up winning the inaugural Rookie of the Year award in ’47. He would also go on the win the NL MVP in ’49 and be elected to the Hall of Fame in 1962. So revered is Robinson that Major League Baseball retired his number 42 on April 15, 1997, 50 years after Robinson first played. With the retirement of Mariano Rivera no player will ever be allowed to wear the number 42. Throughout stadiums in Major League Baseball April 15th is Jackie Robinson day.