He hasn't played a game in nearly 60 years, yet his jersey has become one of baseball's best sellers.
Spurred by the new movie "42," Jackie Robinson's jersey sales have increased 1,000 percent since the baseball season began on March 31 compared to the same period in 2012.
The data comes from Fanatics.com, an officially licensed online sports merchandise dealer. The film premiered last Friday, but it has been heavily promoted for several weeks. As a result, sales of Robinson's merchandise topped sales of gear for every current player.
Mark Roesler, the chief executive of CMG Worldwide, which sells the licensing rights of deceased athletes, said the fact that Robinson impacted both his sport and society makes him a unique historical figure.
“Jackie Robinson not only changed the game of baseball, he changed the sports world and he went one step further, he changed the country,” Roesler told the New York Times. “We live in a society where it's a little easier since the 1990s for younger generations to appreciate the people who have changed their lives."
Derek Jeter has led MLB in jersey sales Roesler told the for the past three seasons.
The top five in sales last year from the All-Star break through the end of the regular season were Jeter, Josh Hamilton, Ichiro Suzuki, Bryce Harper and Mike Trout.
But playoff success changed the picture as Buster Posey of the Giants and Justin Verlander of the Tigers were the leaders during the offseason.