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Jackie Robinson broke MLB color barrier 70 years ago today

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball when he started at first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

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The Dodgers had opened the 1947 season at home against the Boston Braves, and 26,623 fans attended the game at Ebbets Field. Robinson went 0-for-3 in his debut, won 5-3 by the Dodgers. He made the game’s first putout, receiving a throw from third base rookie Spider Jorgensen to retire Boston leadoff hitter Dick Culler. 

Despite the inauspicious debut, Robinson would play in 151 games. He hit .297 and won the first Rookie of the Year Award. He led the National League in stolen bases with 29 and collected 175 hits as the Dodgers reached the World Series.

Robinson was the first black player in the major leagues since Moses Fleet Walker played 42 games for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the American Association in 1884. It was Walker’s only year in the majors, and no black had been on a major-league roster until Robinson debuted in 1947. 

Robinson would play 10 seasons, mostly at second base. He finished with a career average of .311. He played in six World Series for the Dodgers and retired after the 1956 season. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

Twenty years ago today, baseball retired Robinson’s No. 42, in a dramatic announcement madeat Shea Stadium in New York by Commissioner Bud Selig, who was flanked by Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson; and President Bill Clinton.

Cubs’ rain delay allows David Ross fans to see him dance

What do Chicago Cubs’ fans do when there’s a rain delay?

Many didn’t leave Wrigley Field, staying to brave the rain to cheer on fan favorite David Ross as he dominated the dance floor.

The Jumbotron operators routed Ross’ competition on “Dancing with the Stars” after the storms cleared and as fans waited for the game to begin, WGN reported.

Ross danced the Viennese waltz to the same song he used as his walkup anthem his last season: “Forever Young.”

He was hoping his baseball fandom would translate to a W in the dance world. But the spin around the dance floor was scheduled in the middle of the Cubs’ home opener. He reminded his fans that he needed their votes and asked the Cubs to help him out.

Ross and his partner Lindsay Arnold had enough votes to make it to next week’s round, WGN reported.

The Cubs won after the 2-hour rain delay, beating the Dodgers 3-2.

Braves beer: Brewed using bats

The Atlanta Braves not only have a new stadium, the team has a new beer to help quench the thirst of fans.

And it’s the brewing process that some will say make it a great pair with America’s Pastime.

Terrapin Beer Company from Athens, Georgia, is using the wood used to make Mizuno baseball bats to age the beer.

It’s called Chopsecutioner, honoring the Braves’ tomahawk chop.

CBS Sports described the beer as “a lighter IPA with a great flavor.”

It contains a whopping 7.3 percent alcohol level.

So how do the bats tie into the brewing process?

After the beer is fermented, they pour the beer on wood chips left over from making the bats. It cools the brew and ages it.

Terrapin is offering other baseball-themed beers at it’s new Brew Lab at SunTrust Park: On Deck IPS and Swing Batter Brown Ale.

Photos: 43 years ago, Hank Aaron became home run king with 715th homer

On April 8, 1974, the Braves' Hank Aaron smashed his 715th career home run to pass Babe Ruth for baseball's most prestigious record. He did it in Atlanta and brought the city together in celebration. See more photos of Aaron's home run.

Seattle Mariners serving up toasted grasshoppers to fans

Adventurous Mariners fans can enjoy a crunchy new treat while watching games at Safeco Field this season.

A concession stand will offer toasted grasshoppers, tossed in chili lime salt. A cup of the bugs will sell for $4, according to ESPN.

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The stand will be operated by Poquitos, a Seattle-based Mexican restaurant. The bugs are popular snacks in Mexico, according to ESPN.

The toasted grasshoppers are gluten-free, according to Poquitos, and full of protein, giving them a healthy edge over more traditional ballpark fare, like hot dogs.

Check out the other wacky fare being served up at ballparks across the country this season.

Cardinals’ Piscotty hit three times in one trip around bases

St. Louis Cardinals’ outfielder Stephen Piscotty left Tuesday’s game against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night after he was hit by three baseballs in one trip around the bases. 

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A video posted to Twitter shows the three times when Piscotty was hit ― first at bat, then as he ran to second and again when he ran home. 

Piscotty was hit twice in the elbow, but the last hit to the head forced him out of the game, USA Today reported. He cleared concussion protocol and was cleared to play, ESPN reported, but Wednesday’s game against the Cubs was postponed due to rain. Piscotty went 0-for-2 in Thursday night’s 6-4 loss to Chicago. 

Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Piscotty said the final blow “just stunned me.”

“It wasn’t like I lost consciousness,” he said. “I was fine.”

Tim Tebow homers in minor-league debut

Tim Tebow made a big splash in his minor-league baseball debut Thursday night.

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Tebow, who won the 2007 Heisman Trophy as quarterback for the University of Florida, homered in his first at-bat for the Class A Columbia Fireflies, ESPN reported.

Batting seventh in the lineup, Tebow smacked a 2-1 pitch off Augusta left-hander Domenic Mazza off the railing just above the fence in left-center field at Spirit Communications Park in Columbia, South Carolina. Tebow originally stopped at second base, thinking he had only hit a double, but an umpire signaled home run and the former NFL quarterback pumped his fist as he completed his circuit around the bases.

Tebow grounded out in his second at-bat, then struck out his next three times up, twice looking, ESPN reported. Columbia defeated Augusta 14-7.

Tebow decided to pursue a baseball career in August after his NFL career was unsuccessful. He was assigned to the New York Mets’ Class A squad in Columbia at the end of spring training. Tebow batted .148 during spring training with eight strikeouts in 27 at-bats.

Wacky ballpark food for 2017 season

Each season, Major League Baseball stadiums across the country unveil the latest and greatest gut-busters.

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The 2017 season is no exception. From wacky hot dogs and  spicy burgers to a cookie cart, there’s something on the menu to satisfy every baseball fan’s appetite.

Bees send baseball players to their knees

When bees swarm, it’s best to hit the deck.

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During a bizarre scene in Peoria, Ariz., members of the Rockies and Padres took cover during the ninth inning of Colorado’s 10-5 victory against San Diego.

Padres pitcher Trey Wingenter stepped off the mound when the horde hit, and then the 6-foot-7 right-hander dropped to a knee. Rockies batter Daniel Castro quickly followed suit, along with plate umpire Alex Tosi. The broadcast picked up someone yelling, "Bees! Bees!" 

The players stayed down for about 10 seconds, and fans gave them a cheer when they finally stood up.

"I saw something happen over here as all the players got on the ground," Padres manager Bud Black told The Associated Press. "It was reminiscent of Petco Park a few years ago when a beekeeper had to come down from the left-field corner. That was about a 20-30 minute delay."

President Trump declines opportunity to throw out first pitch

Apparently President Donald Trump won’t be singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” at Nationals Park on opening day. 

Trump has declined to perform the tradition when the Washington Nationals host the Miami Marlins Monday, ESPN reported.

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It is due to a scheduling conflict, The Washington Post reported.

The tradition of the president throwing out the first pitch at Washington’s opening-day game started more than 100 years ago , when President William Howard Taft threw out the first pitch for the then-Washington Senators in 1910, ESPN reported

In recent history, George W. Bush and Barack Obama threw out ceremonial first pitches on opening day.

Overall, 13 presidents been part of the ceremony either for the Senators or the Nationals.

There is no word on who will have the honor of throwing out the first pitch.

Nats all-star pitcher Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to start for Washington. Edinson Volquez is the starter listed for the Marlins.

The first pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET on Monday.

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