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Jackie Robinson Day 2011: Charlie Manuel Talks About Meeting Jackie

Today is Jackie Robinson day in major league baseball meant to honor his lasting impact on the game. All players will wear his number 42 tonight. It's the only time you'll ever see a player wear 42, because MLB as retired it across the league. For more on Jackie and the day, check out Iam42.com.

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Phillies manager Charlie Manuel talked today about his earliest memories of Jackie and about the time he got to meet the man.

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When he first came to the big leagues I was about 4 or 5 years old. In fact I remember he was one of the first big league ballplayers I ever heard about because my grandfather and them were talking about him in a barbershop in a place called Austinville, Virginia.

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Later, when I got called up to the Dodgers, I actually got each lunch with Jackie inside the Dodger diamond club at the time. I was really excited about meeting him because he was a really strong guy. He was super. I think the trend he set in baseball when O'Malley and them brought him into the system and changed the color barrier, that was one of the biggest and best things that ever happened to baseball.

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