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Boston Red Sox players line up for the National Anthem all wearing number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day before a baseball game between the Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park in Boston Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Winslow Townson)
Baseball players and fans stand during a moment of silence for the victims of explosions at the Boston Marathon, before the start of a baseball game between the Miami Marlins and the Washington Nationals, Monday, April 15, 2013 in Miami. The players were wearing Jackie Robinson's No. 42. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) FILE - In this July 20, 1962 file photo, baseball player Jackie Robinson embraces Branch Rickey in New York. Rickey was general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers when Robinson was hired. The home area of the late baseball executive Rickey expects increased interest in his southern Ohio roots from his depiction in the movie “42,” in which Harrison Ford plays the man who signed Jackie Robinson to challenge baseball’s color line. (AP Photo/File) FILE - This 1963 file photo shows Branch Rickey shown dressed for southern climates when he joined the Cardinals in Florida.  The home area of the late baseball executive Rickey expects increased interest in his southern Ohio roots from his depiction in the movie “42,” in which Harrison Ford plays the man who signed Jackie Robinson to challenge baseball’s color line. (AP Photo/File) Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jeanmar Gomez (30) delivers in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Pittsburgh Sunday, April 14, 2013.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jeanmar Gomez (30) delivers in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Pittsburgh Sunday, April 14, 2013.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jeanmar Gomez (30) delivers in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Pittsburgh Sunday, April 14, 2013.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jeanmar Gomez (30) delivers in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Pittsburgh Sunday, April 14, 2013.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jeanmar Gomez (30) delivers in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Pittsburgh Sunday, April 14, 2013.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jeanmar Gomez (30) delivers in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Pittsburgh Sunday, April 14, 2013.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Jeanmar Gomez (30) delivers in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Pittsburgh Sunday, April 14, 2013.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Phil Irwin delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Pittsburgh Sunday, April 14, 2013.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Phil Irwin signs an autograph on kids day at the ball park before a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Pittsburgh Sunday, April 14, 2013.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Phil Irwin delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Pittsburgh Sunday, April 14, 2013.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Phil Irwin delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in Pittsburgh Sunday, April 14, 2013.(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Metheny, left, and his team line up for the national anthem wearing No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson before a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in  Pittsburgh Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Metheny , left, and his team line up for the national anthem wearing the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson before a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in  Pittsburgh Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) A Philadelphia Phillies coach stands next to a sign honoring Jackie Robinson day prior to a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, left, talks with Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker prior to a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Cincinnati Reds' Joey Votto, left, talks with Jay Bruce during batting practice prior to a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, left, talks with Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker prior to a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo throws against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Cincinnati Reds' Aroldis Chapman throws against the Philadelphia Phillies in the ninth inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. Chapman earned his third save as the Reds won 4-2. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Philadelphia Phillies' Ryan Howard bats Cincinnati Reds in the ninth inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Cincinnati Reds' Brandon Phillips, left, is congratulated after they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Home plate umpire Jim Joyce signals during a baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Philadelphia Phillies, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Cincinnati Reds' Shin-Soo Choo prepares to bat against the Philadelphia Phillies in a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier fields a ground ball hit by Philadelphia Phillies' Domonic Brown in the fifth inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Cincinnati Reds' Jay Bruce bats against the Philadelphia Phillies in a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo, left, talks with catcher Ryan Hanigan during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo fields a bunt by Philadelphia Phillies' Ben Revere in the sixth inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel twirls a stop watch during a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. Cincinnati won 4-2. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Umpire Jim Joyce talks with Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel during a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. Cincinnati won 4-2. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Cincinnati Reds' Jay Bruce bats against the Philadelphia Phillies in a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Bronson Arroyo throws against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee throws against the Cincinnati Reds in the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos, left, tosses a basketball to 'Slick Members of the St. Louis Cardinals line up for a moment of silence for the bombings at the Boston Marathon the national anthem all wearing the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson before a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in  Pittsburgh Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Members of the St. Louis Cardinals line up for a moment of silence following an explosion at the Boston Marathon, all wearing the No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, before a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in  Pittsburgh Monday, April 15, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Violent backdrop in sports to Jackie Robinson Day


BC-BBO--Jackie Robinson Day, 7th Ld-Writethru,923

Violent backdrop in sports to Jackie Robinson Day

AP Photo BXF105, FLWL102, CD401, CD402, PAGP101, CSA101, PAGP105

Eds: Updates photo links. With AP Photos.

MIAMI (AP) — Lined up in front of their dugouts, all wearing No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day, the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins stood for a moment of silence to honor bombing victims at the Boston Marathon.

What began as an annual celebration to salute the man who broke baseball’s color barrier 66 years ago turned somber after a pair of explosions near the finish line in Boston — about a mile from Fenway Park — killed at least three people and injured more than 140 on Monday.

Hours later, Major League Baseball went on with ceremonies for the fifth Jackie Robinson Day at stadiums all over the country and north of the border in Toronto.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this horrible occurrence and we are monitoring the situation,” MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said in a statement. “The safety of everyone that comes to our ballparks is always our top priority and we will continue to do everything to ensure a safe environment for our fans.”

There were moments of silence before each of the seven night games. At Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, President Barack Obama’s remarks to the nation were shown on the video board while the Phillies were taking batting practice.

“I think everyone was thinking about it,” said Philadelphia outfielder Ben Revere, who taped the message “PRAY for Boston” on his glove. “It hurts to see something like that happen.”

The game between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays started at 11:05 a.m. on Patriots Day in Massachusetts and ended about an hour before the bombings. Fans near Fenway Park, some who had recently exited the game, could hear the explosions.

All the teams in action were asked to wear Robinson’s number, retired throughout baseball in 1997. Yankees closer Mariano Rivera is the only active player who still wears the number, and he has said he is retiring after this season.

Teams that didn’t play on Monday planned to pay tribute to Robinson on Tuesday.

Robinson’s debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947, is drawing special attention this year with the release of the film “42,” which went into wide release last weekend.

Robinson’s widow, Rachel, along with the couple’s daughter, Sharon, and son, David, were introduced before the Dodgers played the Padres in Los Angeles.

Harrison Ford bounced the ceremonial first pitch to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly. Ford plays ex-Brooklyn general manager Branch Rickey in “42.”

In Minnesota, Twins first baseman Justin Morneau saw a screening of the movie in spring training and was pleasantly surprised to see brief footage of himself running onto the field during some of the stock shots of players paying homage to Robinson by wearing his No. 42.

“I wasn’t expecting it, so it was pretty cool,” Morneau said. “Just quick running across the screen, but to see yourself in a movie of that importance is pretty cool.”

The Rays had a special screening, too.

More than 100 players and other club employees watched the film at a theater in Port Charlotte, Fla., the Rays’ spring training site, “and I think a lot of guys walked away with a greater appreciation” of Robinson’s contribution, manager Joe Maddon said before the Rays lost 3-2 to the Red Sox.

Maddon said Robinson’s debut helped lead to the broader civil rights movement.

“I still don’t think people understand how much it plays into the Martin Luther King situation,” he said. “The revolution that occurred at that particular moment, it mattered. That had to happen first to set that whole thing up.

“So when you’re talking about Jackie Robinson, I don’t think people realize the significance and really courage that went behind that, and in the movie it points that out — the courage to not fight back, to be able to win over that particular mindset to be able to make all of this work,” he added.

Red Sox manager John Farrell said baseball “reflects society in so many ways, whether it’s the color barriers being broken down. In our clubhouse you’ve got six or seven countries coming together. As a group of 25, you look to not only co-exist, but (recognize) the individuality of everyone in there.

“Certainly, the Robinson family and certainly Jackie himself may be one of the most significant situations in our country’s history,” Farrell said, “breaking down segregation to the point of inclusion and I think that happens in the game today.”

The movie “42” earned an estimated $27.3 million over the weekend, according to Warner Brothers, its distributor.

The subject’s popularity extends to the sale of licensed sports merchandise. Fanatics.com, a large online retailer of those items, said sales of Jackie Robinson gear on its site since the season began increased by more than 1,000 percent over the same time period last year.

In Miami, the ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by Norman Berman, the ballboy for the Brooklyn Dodgers the year Robinson was a rookie.

The 84-year-old Berman lives in nearby West Palm Beach. He was the Dodgers’ 19-year-old ballboy in 1947 when the team reached the World Series.

Berman said Robinson befriended him, played catch with him and gave tips on how to make a double-play pivot.

“He was a wonderful person,” Berman said. “I learned something from him — when you go through tough times, you’ve got to stay positive. I don’t think most of the ballplayers who came after him would have been able to be the first black ballplayer, because they couldn’t do what he did.”



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