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Jackie Robinson gets a freeway named after him

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A 4.2 mile stretch of the 210, to be exact

It’s a widely known fact that Angelenos love naming their freeways. From the Santa Ana to the Santa Monica to the Ventura Highway in the sunshine (not actually a highway, so it counts), freeways just have a little more personality here.

Now, locals traveling between La Cañada and Pasadena will have a new freeway name to remember. The state has officially named a four-mile stretch of the 210—otherwise known as the Foothill Freeway—after California’s own Jackie Robinson. This strip of freeway extends from the Gould Avenue entrance to Orange Grove Boulevard in Pasadena, where the Dodgers legend attended high school and junior college.

A press release from the office of Assemblyman Mike Gatto noted this particular stretch of freeway is often used by fans heading to Dodger Stadium. Though Robinson’s baseball career ended before the Dodgers relocated from Brooklyn to Los Angeles, he has certainly always been associated with the franchise. Naomi Rodriguez, a spokeswomanfor the team, said in the release that "this is another great honor and tribute to a man who made a major impact on our nation."

Robinson, of course, made history in 1947 when, at a time when much of the country was still segregated under the strict laws of the Jim Crow era, he became the first African American to play for a Major League Baseball team. Before that, he was also the first UCLA athlete to letter in four different sports.

Gatto tells KPCC that, in spite of his incredible achievements, Robinson hasn’t received due credit from the state of California. "We name highways after so many different individuals," he says. "And it just dawned on us at some point this year that there was really nothing that the state had done for Jackie Robinson."

Well, the 4.2 mile stretch of freeway is less than five percent of the entire 86 mile route, but it’s certainly not nothing.