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Gibson digs deep into Robinson's history

Gibson digs deep into Robinson's history

Gibson digs deep into Robinson's history
PHOENIX -- Kirk Gibson walked into the press interview room for his pregame meeting with the media holding a slip of paper.

In honor of Jackie Robinson Day, the D-backs manager had scribbled notes about the Hall of Famer's life on both sides of it.

"When we have these days, sometimes I don't think we pay attention to it as much as we should," Gibson said.

So when he woke up Friday morning, he went to his computer and started doing some research.

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"We weren't there, so put a little time in and really look into it," Gibson urged. "It makes you feel the impact. We've heard about it, we've talked about it, [but] just take the time. It's only 30 minutes. It's just amazing. He was a special individual, a special human being, and his cause really wasn't for himself, it was for everybody else. That's the best part of it."

Major League Baseball honored Robinson, who in 1947 broke the game's color barrier. Players throughout both leagues wore Robinson's No. 42, which was retired by baseball in 1997.

The D-backs showed a pregame video honoring Robinson's life and also introduced three Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars -- Brittney Shipp, Andia Winslow and Marvin Jones Sr.

Gibson spoke for nearly seven minutes about Robinson's life, including both his on-field as well as off-field accomplishments.

"At the time they were talking about not letting him into the game and his race into the game," Gibson said. "And as we look at it today, there's so many differences on so many different levels I thought it was really pertinent to any team today. I mean, we have people from all over the world, all different types of people, religious beliefs, so I thought it still was applicable, although in a different context with different problems and different differences."

Gibson said he discussed Robinson's impact with his coaching staff and a few players, but planned on sharing it with the entire team as the season goes along.

"It will come up," he said. "I think it's pretty powerful and it's pretty amazing what he did. To see the great game that we have today, I'm certainly thankful that he broke the barrier so that it can be like it is today."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @dbackswriter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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