(East Los Angeles, CA) April 17, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: From our perspective here at East L.A. Sports Scene, every day should be a tribute to Jackie Robinson, with much-more needed educational emphasis on his great courage, sacrifice, love of country, pioneering of social justice for his beloved African-American community, and his passionate inspiration to people of all races, creeds. and colors. He will truly, unambiguously, and forever be the Ultimate Ambassador of Good through Sports and Life. Qué Viva Jackie Robinson!!
To add to this special time in his commemoration, we bring you two of our locally born, raised, and produced players that have had the privilege of wearing the unforgettable and dynamic Robinson number 42 during their respective careers and competitions.
First, we bring you Jelly Felix, the 2015 CIF/L.A. City Section’s All-City and All-Northern League MVP, softball player representing the Lincoln HS “Tigers.” She then went on to play for UCLA as a utility player through 2018, and proudly wore Jackie’s famous #42 on her uniform. She was the last UCLA female student-athlete given permission to proudly wear his number in her senior year. Jackie’s number at UCLA has since officially been retired. We gladly share our photo gallery of Jelly while playing 3rd base and taking her turn at-bat against Cal Poly. To see one of our featured stories on Jelly from 2015, click here.
(Photo Gallery Credit): Erik Sarni, East L.A. Sports Scene Prdctns.
Our second local player to have worn the famous #42 as part of MLB’s observance of Jackie Robinson Day, was recently here in town and started at shortstop for the Colorado Rockies in game three of their series against the Dodgers. His name is Alan Ray Trejo and he was raised in Downey. He went to Cathedral High in his freshman and sophomore years, then transferred to Warren High School in Downey to finish high school. After graduation, he attended San Diego State University before being drafted in 2017 by the Rockies, in Round 16 with the Overall Pick of 476. He made his debut on 4/10/21. Alan got his first MLB base hit and a base-on-balls in game three of the recently concluded Dodgers series.
(Photo Gallery Credit): Colorado Rockies; Coach Scott Pearson, Warren High School
And today, in 2021, the gateway, stair-step, trampoline, pathway, or any other noun describing an opportunity to achieve progress and ultimately success towards a goal in life or sports, remains open thanks in great part to a man and professional baseball player named Jackie Robinson who wore the #42 on his Dodgers uniform. His legacy and legend still live on in the names of African-American players past…a Hall of Famers (HoF) list that contains the likes of Hank Aaron, Larry Doby, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Frank Robinson, Ernie Banks, Willie Stargell, Joe Morgan, Bob Gibson, Ozzie Smith, Reggie Jackson, Lou Brock, Dave Winfield, Kirby Puckett, Eddie Murray, Tony Gwynn, Billy Williams, Andre Dawson, Rickey Henderson, Harold Baines, Frank Thomas, Jim Rice, Josh Gibson, Barry Larkin, Ferguson Jenkins, Derek Jeter, Cool Papa Bell, Roy Campanella, Satchel Paige, and unintentionally missing a few more that have made the accomplished list of 333 inductees.
And, not to be forgotten, here is a list of our Puerto-Rican, Cuban, Dominican Republic, Panamanian, Mexicano, Venezuelan, and other Latin-American HoF players…Roberto Clemente, Tony Perez, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda, Luis Aparicio, Mariano Rivera, Rod Carew, Vladimir Guerrero, Pedro Martinez, Ivan Rodriguez, Edgar Martinez, Roberto Alomar, Al Lopez, Lefty Gomez, and Ted Williams (his mother, Micaela “May” Venzor (Texas), was of Mexican ancestry).
And last, but certainly not least, let’s not forget the Hopefuls List of: Fernando Valenzuela, Maury Wills, Manager Dave Roberts, and many more who are very much worth further consideration. In fitting tribute, all of these great players have stood Baseball’s test of time, thanks again to one, Mr. Jackie Roosevelt Robinson.
And even today, it’s truly deserving, respectable, and yet so gratifying to see that MLB has taken greater strides in acknowledging, not only the National League’s and the American League’s “Salute To Jackie Robinson Day” on “back-to-back” game-days, but to also see that the Dodgers recently used their 2017 Bronze Statue in Jackie’s honor of his stealing home plate, to have Manager Dave Roberts speak to his team about Jackie’s great importance to themselves, and the perpetual Robinson legacy to Dodger fans and the MLB. On this day, 4/15/21, Dodgers players Mookie Betts, David Price, and Manager Dave Roberts contributed a total of $275,000 to the Players Alliance. (Click for more info)
Let’s keep that list growing as America’s past-time, continues to increase in popularity, both nationally and internationally. Very soon there should be MLB franchises in Mexico, Japan, Italy, and the Republic of South Korea.