Honoring One of Our Hometown Heroes
Many know Jackie Robinson as a record-breaking second baseman, an influential advocate for civil rights, and a distinguished Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer, but few know he was a renowned Pasadena native who left a huge impact on his community and the nation as a whole. This year I was proud to honor Jackie Robinson for his prominent impact on the culture of baseball and the expansion of civil equalities through my resolution, ACR 197. ACR 197 creates the “Jackie Robinson Memorial Highway” on 4.2 miles of Interstate 210 between Gould Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard.
Jackie Robinson is best known for breaking the color barrier in baseball when he debuted with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and for having his number, 42, retired by all of Major League baseball. But before becoming a big-leaguer, Robinson excelled in basketball, football, baseball and track at John Muir (Pasadena) High School and Pasadena City College. He then transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1939, where he became the first Bruin to letter in four sports: baseball, basketball, football and track.
I decided to author this resolution to honor an inspiring figure who accomplished tremendous achievements in athletics and on the forefront of the civil rights era as an advocate for social change. His words and actions reflected the suppressed thoughts of many, and fostered an opportunity for change. His contributions to baseball and society have made an everlasting impression on communities nationwide.
I believe that it is only fitting to honor Jackie Robinson by naming this stretch of highway near the home he grew up and lived in. The sacrifices and differences he made will always be remembered.
Mike Gatto is the chairman of the Utilities & Commerce Committee and the longest-serving current member of the State Assembly. He represents California’s 43rd Assembly District, which includes Los Angeles, Glendale, and Burbank. www.asm.ca.gov/gatto