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Players pay tribute to pioneer Robinson

NEW YORK -- LaTroy Hawkins has heard the stories from his 87-year-old grandfather, about his days of picking cotton in Mississippi, about the times when there were no black players in big league baseball.

And about what it meant when Jackie Robinson broke the game's color barrier.

"Without Jackie, I wouldn't be in front of you," the Los Angeles Angels pitcher told several dozen kids at a Bronx ballfield Sunday. "Jackie's role in my life has been tremendous."

From Dodger Stadium to Fenway Park, there were ceremonies as Major League Baseball honored Robinson and his legacy. Video tributes and on-field celebrations at every ballpark included his family, his former teammates, players from the Negro Leagues and NBA great Bill Russell.

Players, managers, coaches and umpires all wore No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day to remember the 65th anniversary of the day the future Hall of Famer first took the field with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Markers on each base noted the occasion.

"I'm very happy the players feel that connected," said his daughter, Sharon Robinson. "Back in 1997, players were saying, 'Jackie who?' So we've come a long way."


Scully back at work

LOS ANGELES -- Hall of Fame announcer Vin Scully returned to the booth at Dodger Stadium on Sunday after missing five games because of a bad cold.

The 84-year-old had broadcast the Los Angeles Dodgers' first four games of the season at San Diego before getting sick last weekend. He missed the team's home opener last Tuesday for the first time in 35 years.


Clemens trial returns

WASHINGTON -- Jury selection is set to begin today in the retrial of Roger Clemens.

Clemens is back in court nine months after the first attempt by the government to prove that the seven-time Cy Young Award winner lied when he denied using steroids and human growth hormone before Congress in 2008.

Only two witnesses had been called last July when U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton declared a mistrial. Walton said that prosecutors had made a gaffe that even a "first-year law student" wouldn't make.

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