Results tagged ‘ Jackie Robinson Day ’
(Photo by Stephen Green)
April 15 is Jackie Robinson Day, a day to celebrate perhaps the most influential player in the game’s history. On this day in 1947, the Hall of Famer became the first African-American athlete to play in the major leagues. In a 10-year big league career with the Brooklyn Dodgers, the six-time All-Star hit .311 with 137 home runs, was the 1947 NL Rookie of the Year, and won the 1949 NL MVP after leading the league in batting average and stolen bases.
Though the Cubs will be in New York Tuesday night to kick off a two-game set with the Yankees, Robinson fared pretty well at Wrigley Field. He hit .295/.400/.446 (AVG/OBP/SLG) in 401 career plate appearances on the North Side, with 22 doubles and 14 stolen bases.
Today, every player in major league baseball will wear the No. 42 in honor of Robinson.
(Photo by Stephen Green)
As the Jackie Robinson biopic 42: The True Story of An American Legend is released in theaters nationwide Friday, the Chicago Cubs announced they will honor the 66th anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier on Tuesday, April 16. This historic moment is celebrated league-wide each year on April 15, with all uniformed personnel wearing Robinson’s retired no. 42 in honor of the legendary Hall of Famer.
“We’re happy to join all of Major League Baseball on this historic occasion,” said Tom Ricketts, chairman of the Chicago Cubs. “Jackie Robinson is a true American hero, and we are all greatly indebted to his contribution to not only baseball, but to American history and culture.”
Since the Cubs’ home series against the Texas Rangers begins on April 16, the Cubs will honor Robinson during a pregame ceremony, and players on both teams will wear No. 42. Nearly 50 “42” flags will adorn the roof of Wrigley Field during the series.
In addition, the Chicago Cubs will host more than 300 Chicago Public School (CPS) high school baseball players to attend Tuesday night’s game in recognition of the celebration. Several CPS baseball players will be recognized during the pregame ceremony.
As part of the pregame ceremony, Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Billy Williams will both be recognized. Banks shares a special kinship with Robinson as the first African-American to play for the Cubs. Banks considered Robinson a mentor during their time in the majors.
Billy Williams broke into the majors not long after Robinson and Banks, and credits Robinson with being the pioneer who opened the door for all baseball players of color. Williams will share his comments about Robinson and his own personal experience playing in the Robinson-era during the game telecast on Comcast SportsNet.
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr., who gave the eulogy at Robinson’s funeral services in Brooklyn, N.Y., and actor John C. McGinley will throw out the first pitches t the game. McGinley, who stars as Brooklyn play-by-play announcer Red Barber in the movie, will also serve as the guest conductor for the 7th-inning stretch.
Following the game, Cubs Authentics will auction a game worn No. 42 jersey signed by all the Cubs players and a flag from the roof of Wrigley Field, with proceeds going to Chicago Cubs Charities.
“A life is not important except in its impact on other lives.” — Jackie Robinson
Yesterday, the Cubs’ community affairs department hosted four local Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars — (from left to right) Troy White of Northern Illinois University, Jasmyne McDonald of Northwestern University, and Artis Lewis and Lauryn Nwampka of the University of Chicago. They were an impressive bunch of students, all articulate and passionate about Robinson’s impact as well as active themselves in social causes.
White even was drafted by the Indians, in the 48th round last summer, but instead decided to pursue a college education that might allow him to someday play professional baseball or bring an academy to inner-city youth. His scholarship is now sponsored by MLB and the Chicago Cubs.
And they all were thankful for the scholarships, networking and educational opportunities afforded to them by the organization, founded by Robinson’s widow, Rachel. All four scholars were honored on the field prior to yesterday’s game along with Derrek Lee, Milton Bradley and Joey Gathright.
“It’s a game I love to play. [Robinson] talked a lot about life. There’s a lot more important things in life than just baseball. … In a way, he’s helped me be drafted. There are not many black athletes playing baseball. I feel a sense of pride to go out and play baseball and play it the best I can and conduct myself with dignity and pride off the field.” — Troy White
Today is Jackie Robinson Day all over MLB, with all field personnel commemorating the 62nd anniversary of the breaking of baseball’s color barrier. Every jersey number you see in a baseball game today will feature Robinson’s No. 42.
Here’s today’s lineup:
42 Soriano, LF
42 Theriot, SS
42 Fukudome, RF
42 Lee, 1B
42 Fontenot, 3B
42 Johnson, CF
42 Soto, C
42 Miles, 2B
42 Harden, RHP
They’re taking on former Cub Jason Marquis (1-0, 2.57 ERA).
Milton Bradley on his everyday uniform number, 21
“That’s the number they gave me in Rookie ball, so I just kind of stuck with it. You know, you can’t wear 42 anymore, so I always said, 21 is half of 42; if I can be half of the player, half of the person, Jackie Robinson was, then I will have been a success. That’s my motto.” (from January)
Very special guest singing the stretch
Actor Michael J. Fox will be singing the seventh-inning stretch today. Fox is promoting his new book “Always Looking Up: The Adventures of an Incurable Optimist,” in which he discusses his positive outlook while struggling with Parkinson’s disease.
Right-hander Aaron Harang starts on the hill for the Reds. And leading off for the visitors? Former Cubs prospect Corey Patterson.
Honoring a baseball great
Today, April 15, marks the second Jackie Robinson Day. Following a tradition started last year, players around the league will be wearing the MLB-retired No. 42.
The Cubs’ Derrek Lee, Daryle Ward, and coaches Gerald Perry and Lester Strode will be honoring Robinson. For the Reds, Ken Griffey and Dusty Baker will sport the special jerseys.