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Twins hold Jackie Robinson Day pregame celebrations

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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins celebrated the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking Major League Baseball's color barrier with a ceremony before Monday's game against the Angels.

All players from the Twins and Angels, as well as on-field personnel, wore Robinson's No. 42 during the game. In 1997, under the direction of Commissioner Bud Selig, Robinson's No. 42 was retired across all of Major League Baseball in an unprecedented tribute.

Twins first baseman Justin Morneau said he felt honored to wear No. 42 again, especially after watching the film, "42," in a special screening in Fort Myers, Fla., last month. Morneau was surprised to see himself in the movie, as he's featured near the end in a scene that shows big leaguers running onto the field wearing No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day.

"He might be the most important player who has ever put on a uniform," Morneau said. "So it's good that his story is being told again and that on April 15 every year we get to celebrate what he meant to this country."

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire also saw the movie on Sunday night and came away impressed with the film and what Robinson stands for.

"It was a really neat movie," Gardenhire said. "It was emotional for me seeing all the history of Jackie and what he went through. It's just an emotional movie. The baseball parts were OK, but the movie itself and everything about it was really cool."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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