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MLB Network Kicking Off Special Jackie Robinson Day Coverage Early

Kyle Koster
Robert Riger/GettyImages

MLB Network will mark the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's debut with special coverage beginning at 8 a.m. ET from New York City's Time Square. Robert Flores, Mark DeRosa, Lauren Shehadi and Harold Reynolds helm MLB Central an hour earlier than usual as they reflect on Robinson's trailblazing journey and lasting legacy. Scheduled guests include Ken Griffey Jr., CC Sabathia, Mariano Rivera, Rob Manfred and Sonya Pankey, the oldest grandchild of Jackie and Rachel Robinson.

The network will also debut a tribute piece commemorating the day set to Common's When We Move.

Later this morning, Manfred, Pankey and Griffey will be among the speakers at a news conference temporarily renaming a New York City street Jackie Robinson Way. For the 13 straight year, every player on a Major League diamond will be wearing Robinson's retired No. 42 jersey, which is one of the best traditions in the sport.

It's a day to reflect and appreciate and for a long time it appeared baseball would miss out on the opportunity to observe on the actual anniversary of the debut due to labor strife. That would have been a shame.