ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals recognized Jackie Robinson Day with a subdued ceremony at Busch Stadium on Thursday prior to their afternoon game against the Astros.
The club played a tribute video on the board in right-center field to honor Robinson. Now of course a Hall of Famer, Robinson broke baseball's color barrier on April 15, 1947, when he debuted in the Major Leagues with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
"I have terrific admiration [for Robinson] and am incredulous that he could go through that," manager Tony La Russa said. "I saw today one of the papers was talking about the lack of the black athlete [in baseball]. And it's impossible to figure, because it's such a great sport for anybody that's an athlete."
Houston Astros center fielder Michael Bourn also commented on the lack of African-American players in the Major Leagues.
Said Bourn in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "Everybody notices it. It's not in your control. You just have to roll with what's going on."
All players throughout the Majors are wearing No. 42 on Thursday in tribute to Robinson, whose number has been retired across the league.
Each member of the Cardinals will donate his jersey following the game, and fans who purchase raffle tickets will have a chance to win the autographed jerseys, along with two tickets to a July 15 game against the Dodgers. Over the past two seasons, the Jackie Robinson Day Jersey raffle has raised more than $100,000 to benefit the Jackie Robinson Foundation local scholars college education efforts and Cardinals Care. Winners will be presented with their jerseys as part of an on-field pregame ceremony with La Russa and Dodgers manager Joe Torre.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.