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Professional Ball Players Sign on to Support JRF

Professional Ball Players Sign on to Support JRF

In celebration of the Jackie Robinson Foundation's 40th anniversary, JRF launched a scholarship initiative to engage professional ball players. "Pitch 42" is a collective of forward-thinking professional athletes, beginning with top baseball players, who support JRF’s mission and honor Jackie Robinson’s legacy through the sponsorship of a JRF Scholar.

To date, the "Pitch 42" players signed on to support scholarships are:

Michael Bourn (Cleveland Indians)
Royce Clayton (retired)
Carl Crawford (Los Angeles Dodgers)
LaTroy Hawkins & Family (New York Mets)
Orlando Hudson (retired)
Edwin Jackson (Chicago Cubs)
Derek Jeter (New York Yankees)
Adam Jones (Baltimore Orioles)
Matthew Kemp (Los Angeles Dodgers)
David Price (Tampa Bay Rays)
Jimmy Rollins (Philadelphia Phillies)
CC Sabathia (New York Yankees)
BJ Upton (Atlanta Braves)
Justin Upton (Atlanta Braves)
Vernon Wells (New York Yankees)
Jerome L. Williams (Los Angeles Angels).

Dusty Baker (retired), Yu Darvish (Texas Rangers), Jason Heyward (Atlanta Braves), Torii Hunter (Detroit Tigers), Brad Ziegler (Arizona Diamondbacks) and basketball great Michael Jordan have also made generous contributions supporting JRF’s important mission.

"It is exciting to see such a terrific group of professional athletes, leaders in their own right, support our mission and the enduring legacy of the Jackie Robinson" said JRF President and CEO Della Britton Baeza. "I am often asked whether professional athletes support us, and, honestly, a challenge has been to actually get to the players and ask them to be supportive. So it is particularly gratifying to be able to name these generous donor players who have ‘stepped up to the plate’ to give back to the community and to encourage young people to achieve and embrace the values embodied in the life of our hero and namesake.”

The four-year JRF college scholarships provide both generous financial assistance and comprehensive programmatic support. Through this two-pronged, strategic approach – that includes career guidance, internship placement, leadership training and international travel and community service opportunities, JRF Scholars have been able to honor Jackie Robinson's lifelong commitment to excellence, achieving a consistent nearly 100% college graduation rate – a statistic with which our beloved Hall of Famer undoubtedly would be proud to be associated.

For information on how to support the Foundation, please contact Stephen Lynch