On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson not only made history but also affected change in our society by becoming the first African-American to break baseball’s color barrier. For each of the last four years, on April 15, Major League Baseball has celebrated what has become known as Jackie Robinson Day, highlighted by every member of every team wearing Robinson’s No. 42.

The Red Sox’ Jonny Gomes prides himself on being a student of baseball history and had previously sought out stories about Robinson from none other than Don Zimmer, the former Red Sox manager who is a senior adviser with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Unlike Gomes, who broke into the majors with the Rays, many of today’s players don’t share his affinity for the game’s history, something that took him some time to understand. What he hopes for is to see the younger guys take advantage of something like Jackie Robinson Day and take the time to delve into the game’s rich past.

“In this day and age with so much youth baseball going on, I do trivia with the younger guys where I’ve been in the clubhouse,” Gomes said prior to the Sox’ 3-2 win against the Rays yesterday at Fenway Park. “You’d be surprised, the new group of rookies that are in, how much they don’t know. And it baffled me in the beginning, but it took me a while to realize it’s not their fault.

“There’s so much youth baseball that they don’t watch games because they have a game. There’s kids that are 13 years old and they have 80-game seasons. . . . So this is a good opportunity for these kids to jump on the history wagon.”