HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) - On the eve of Black History Month, schools in Springfield and Holyoke honored Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play in the major leagues.
Congressman Richard Neal (D-Springfield) and Boston Red Sox officials led the celebration of Robinson’s birthday. He was born 95 years ago.
Students at Holyoke’s McMahon Middle School told 22News that they have been taught to appreciate Jackie Robinson’s special qualities.
Eighth grader Nathaniel Ernst said that he admires Robinson’s perseverance.
“He never backed down from a fight, he just kept going after his ultimate goal,” he said.
“He just went through all the struggles or death threats and everything, and he worked every team and didn’t care what anybody thought,” eighth grader Madison Gutierrez said.
Congressman Richard Neal and members of the Red Sox organization also presented a Jackie Robinson salute at the Van Sickle Middle School in Springfield.