In celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, baseball player Matt Kemp served as the grand marshall for the annual Kingdom Day Parade Los Angeles parade held Saturday (Jan. 19).

Named the 2013 Celebrity Grand Marshall, Kemp cruised down the parade route alongside his mother, Judy Henderson. 

Never far removed from the legacy of those who paved the way for him, Kemp donned a No. 42 baseball jersey, in honor of Jackie Robinson.The legendary baseball player became the first Black person to integrate into the major leagues more than 60 years ago.

In the late 1940s, the then Brooklyn Dodgers’ club president and general manager, Branch Ricker, began scouting for Black players to enter the league. He interviewed Robinson as a potential player for the Montreal Royals, and formally committed him to the gig in November of 1945.

Since Robinson’s signing there have been several Black stars who have made waves in the field of baseball, including Barry Bonds who –despite being stripped of his accolades due to steroids use– stands as the only player to be named MVP a record seven times.

Click below to see photos of Kemp, and a few shots of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Photos: John Soohoo

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