The following article was posted on MLB.com detailing the Commemoration of Jackie Robinson Day – Saturday April 15, 2023.
Major League Baseball, in coordination with the Robinson Family, MLB Clubs and various partners, has announced Baseball’s efforts to celebrate the legacy of Jackie Robinson and the 50th anniversary of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, a living legacy to both Jackie and Rachel Robinson.
“I am thrilled to be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Jackie Robinson Foundation along with the first year of our new Jackie Robinson Museum,” said Rachel Robinson. “I thank Major League Baseball, the teams, players and fans for celebrating this legacy on Saturday and throughout the year. On behalf of our family, I want to wish everyone a truly wonderful Jackie Robinson Day.”
Leading up to and on Jackie Robinson Day – Saturday, April 15th – Jackie and his legacy will be commemorated in the following ways:
_NUMBER ‘42’ IN DODGER BLUE _– As is tradition, players, managers and coaches will once again wear Robinson’s iconic number on April 15th, with all teams using Dodger blue “42” jersey numbers (regardless of their primary team colors).
- Additionally, Players, coaches, managers, and umpires will have New Era caps with a “42” side patch. Nike Breaking Barriers t-shirts also will be worn during batting practice.
- Commemorative base jewels and lineup cards will be used for each game.
- Stance socks with commemorative “42” logo, as well as Jackie Robinson products available for purchase at retail.
YOUTH BASEBALL & SOFTBALL AND SCOUTING IN DIVERSE COMMUNITIES
MLB’s efforts to grow the game in diverse communities takes place year-round, with notable events including the _Breakthrough Series _ (June 7-10) and Hank Aaron Invitational (July 19-30; with the MLBPA) and the _RBI World Series _ (July 31-August 12) all scheduled to take place at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex. The following are the specific activities taking place during the weekend of Jackie Robinson Day:
- TRAILBLAZER SERIES– At the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, Fla., MLB and USA Baseball will host the 2023
Trailblazer Series. This annual youth baseball experience for young women, ages 13 and under from across the country, is a three-day event serving as both instructional and developmental. The event has been held in conjunction with Jackie Robinson Day since it launched in 2017. This year, Sonya Pankey, the first grandchild of Jackie and Rachel Robinson, will attend to observe the event and speak to the young athletes.
o A special _PLAY BALL _event will be held at the JRTC in celebration of Jackie Robinson Day, featuring hundreds of children from throughout Indian River County, Florida.
- _ID TOUR __– _On March 25th, MLB launched its expanded ID Tour to 18 cities with the goal to identify African-American and Latino baseball talent (in grades 8-10) within underserved communities across the country. The goal is to discover the best athletes, whether they are playing baseball or not, to invite them to future baseball development programs, such as the Breakthrough Series, DREAM Seriesor Hank Aaron Invitational, many of which will be held at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex. The two ID Tour events during Jackie Robinson Day weekend include **Tuscaloosa, AL **(April 15) and **Anderson, SC **(April 16).
Education & Discussions
- _“NEW WAVE” PANEL DISCUSSION __– _Hosted in collaboration with the Jackie Robinson Museum, The SpringHill Company/UNINTERRUPTED and Grapefruit Media, a special panel discussion will debut LIVE on Saturday, April 15 on MLB.com at 10:30 a.m. ET. The panel features Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr., Pankey, former All-Star pitcher CC Sabathiaand Devin Johnson,the President of The SpringHill Company, in an in-depth conversation about baseball’s next generation of black trailblazers.
o UNINTERRUPTED in partnership with Major League Baseball and Grapefruit Media is tapping in with the game-changing, culture-shifting baseball stars of tomorrow for _New Wave: Baseball’s Next Generation. _The 2-part digital series follows four high school baseball players,
Termarr Johnson, Jayson Jones, RJ Austin, and Justin Crawford, on their journey to make the biggest decision of their lives.
o The UNINTERRUPTED Originals series covers the events leading up to the 2022 MLB Draft and culminates in the life-changing decisions for each of these young athletes, documenting every detail of the process from family dynamics to navigating relationships with different teams, friendships, competition, and more.
o New Wave is Directed by former Minor League catcher Matt Parè, **Executive Produced by **Lebron James, Maverick Carter, CC Sabathia, Amber Sabathia **and **Nick Trotta **(MLB), and Produced by **Parè **and **Jackson New-Smith, in association with Major League Baseball.
- _EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES _– Printable education activities aimed at providing kids information on Jackie’s life and legacy at
JRF SCHOLARS AT MLB BALLPARKS
JRF SCHOLARS – MLB and the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) have continued their longstanding partnership, primarily to provide students from under-represented communities with college scholarships. Many of these JRF Scholars and JRF alumni will be recognized by Clubs and MLB.com.
- In 2020, MLB expanded its philanthropic partnership with the Jackie Robinson Foundation to include a greater investment in the JRF scholarship program and greater coordination on MLB/Club internships, full-time job opportunities, and exposure to MLB careers. MLB has also set aside summer internship slots specifically for JRF Scholars. The $3.5 million commitment to JRF also includes support for the Jackie Robinson Museum. Historically, MLB and its Clubs have contributed approximately $20 million to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, including supporting college scholarships for more than 150 JRF scholars.
MULTIMEDIA & BROADCAST
_MLB NETWORK _– MLB Network’s Emmy Award-winning MLB Tonight will broadcast live from the Jackie Robinson Museum for the first time this Friday, April 14th at 6 p.m. ET. Harold Reynolds, a three-time National Sports Emmy Award winner for Outstanding Studio Analyst, will be joined by special guests, including Charles Barkley, Chris Jackson (Hamilton) Larry Lester (Negro Leagues historian), Della Britton **(JRF President & CEO) and **Bob Costas, to discuss Robinson’s everlasting legacy on baseball and society. The show also will include a taped tour of the Jackie Robinson Museum with Minnesota Twins Byron Buxton and Nick Gordon.
_MLB.com __–_MLB.com and all 30 Club sites will have extensive editorial content and coverage highlighting each team’s special connection with Jackie, as well as special features that explore his impact as a baseball pioneer and his influence over today’s players.
SOCIAL MEDIA – MLB Social Media platforms in both English and Spanish will demonstrate the many ways Jackie inspired baseball and society – not just as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, but most importantly, his character and what he represented before, during and after his career. Highlights include custom illustrations, collages, classic Jackie Robinson highlights and infographics.
_GAMING __– _MLB “The Show” will continue the incorporation of Jackie Robinson into its Negro Leagues storytelling content as launched during Black History Month. Sony will once again sell a charity pack for $5 with proceeds of every copy going to JRF.
MLB CLUB & PARTNER ACTIVATIONS
MLB CLUBS – See separate attachment for Club Activations (with more to be announced leading up to April 15th)
CAPITAL ONE – Capital One, the Official Bank and Credit Card Partner of Major League Baseball, is supporting the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) by donating $1,000 to JRF for each “Capital One Walk-Off” (game-winning play) this year, committing to a minimum total donation of $250,000 for the season.
_JACKIE ROBINSON CHALLENGE BY EVERFI _– As a part of the MLB Summer Slugger Program, Clubs can customize a “Jackie Robinson Showcase” that captures Jackie’s life and legacy as an extension of learning and engagement opportunities for students outside of the classroom.
IMPORTANT WEBSITES TO KNOW
JACKIE ROBINSON DAY BACKGROUND
Robinson played his first Major League game at Ebbets Field on April 15, 1947 as a first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Major League Baseball has celebrated Jackie Robinson’s legacy in an extensive and unified League-wide show of support over the years, including retiring his number throughout the Majors in 1997, dedicating April 15th as Jackie Robinson Day each year since 2004, and requesting that every player and all on-field personnel wear his Number 42 during games scheduled on Jackie Robinson Day since 2009. Major League Baseball aims to educate all fans about Jackie Robinson, his life’s accomplishments and legacy, while spearheading initiatives that support communities and meaningfully address diversity and inclusion at all levels of our sport. For more information, please visit MLBCommunity.org.
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