UCLA retires Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 across all sports

Jackie Robinson's No. 42 is now painted on both sides of UCLA's midfield logo at the Rose Bowl.

Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 is now painted on both sides of UCLA’s midfield logo at the Rose Bowl. The number has been retired across all Bruin sports.

UCLA has retired Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 across all sports, honoring the former four-star athlete and civil rights pioneer 75 years after he first enrolled as Bruin.

The school announced the news between the first and second quarters of UCLA’s rivalry game on Saturday against USC. The No. 42 was also painted on both sides of the midfield logo at the Rose Bowl, and adorned the Bruins’ helmets.

“Jackie Robinson established a standard of excellence to which people the world over should aspire,” said athletic director Dan Guerrero. Continue reading

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UCLA athletic facilities collectively named to honor Jackie Robinson

UCLA athletic facilities have now been named to honor former Bruin star and civil rights pioneer Jackie Robinson, the school announced Friday afternoon.

The Jackie Robinson Athletics and Recreation Complex will be the new umbrella name that includes 22 different buildings, including Pauley Pavilion, Spaulding Field, the John Wooden Center, and just about any other on-campus venue you can think of.

Robinson arrived on the UCLA campus 75 years ago, and went on to star in four sports. The man who broke baseball’s color barrier was an honorable All-American in football, the conference scoring leader in basketball, and an NCAA champion in the broad jump.

“Jackie Robinson’s name and his legacy are an honor to this university, and to all the students and student-athletes who will continue to be inspired by his courage, dignity and grace,” UCLA chancellor Gene Block said in a statement. “Jackie detested injustice, fought for civil rights and his spirit of breaking barriers has been and always will be a guiding force of UCLA past, present and future.”

UCLA players will wear the Robinson’s No. 42 on their helmets for Saturday’s game against USC at the Rose Bowl. The number will also be painted on the 25-yard line.

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Six Bruins listed among SI’s all-time college athletes

Sports Illustrated tried to name the best college athletes of all time, ranging from names like Bennie Oosterbaan and Red Grange to Brittney Griner and Tim Tebow. No surprise that the school with the most NCAA championships made a strong appearance. UCLA led with six selections on the 50-person listing.

Lew Alcindor — Plenty of stats to back him up, but forcing the NCAA to outlaw dunking is still the best evidence of his dominance.
Lisa Fernandez — Four-time All-American, three-time national player of the year, two titles. Career 0.22 ERA, .382 batting average. Currently a UCLA assistant coach.
Jackie Joyner-Kersee — Two-time champion in heptathlon, and Olympic silver medalist while still a student. Four-year basketball starter.
Jackie Robinson — First UCLA athlete since Cap Haralson to letter in four sports: baseball, basketball, football, track. More importantly, broke baseball’s color barrier.
Bill Walton — Three-time Naismith Player of the Year. Puts the color in commentary.
Natalie Williams — Four-time All-American in volleyball. Two-time All-American in basketball. First woman to earn both honors in the same year.

An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that the athletes were ranked, rather than listed alphabetically.

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UCLA unveils Jackie Robinson mural


On Sunday afternoon, one day before the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut in major league baseball, UCLA unveiled a new mural of the former Bruin and Dodger legend.

Situated just a few feet away from a statue of man who broke baseball’s color barrier, the new piece featured 25 colorful tiles depicting Robinson against a backdrop of eight circles. Each symbolized part of his story, from his number, 42, to team logos, to his Army past.

“We are truly honored to be able to play in a stadium that bears his name,” UCLA junior outfielder Brenton Allen said in a speech to the audience at Jackie Robinson Stadium. “His strength and talent is something we remember each and every day in our program.” Continue reading

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Happy birthday, Jackie Robinson

In case you haven’t seen this yet, here’s the Google Doodle commemorating Jackie Robinson’s 94th birthday. In addition to breaking baseball’s racial barriers, he lettered in baseball, basketball, track at UCLA, and was the last African American to lead the football team in passing until Brett Hundley.

You can also click through to the trailer for the upcoming biopic “42″, which anachronistically features Jay-Z as the backing soundtrack.

Also, an excerpt from a 1987 Sports Illustrated article, in which former teammate Carl Continue reading

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