2017 JACKIE ROBINSON DAY ACTIVITIES & DETAILS
All Players to Once Again Wear Number ‘42’ on April 15th with Clubs Hosting On-field Ceremonies at Ballparks
Additional Details Include the Inaugural ‘Trailblazer Series’ in Compton, Jackie Statue Unveiling, Special MLB Network Programming & MLB.com Coverage
Major League Baseball today announced special activities around Jackie Robinson Day on Saturday, April 15, 2017, which will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the legendary Hall of Famer breaking baseball’s color barrier in 1947. Most notably, all players and on-field personnel will again wear Number 42 with all MLB clubs home on Jackie Robinson Day hosting pregame ceremonies. The Los Angeles Dodgers will host Rachel, Sharon and David Robinson, the wife, daughter and son of Jackie Robinson, following the unveiling of a statue dedicated to Jackie at Dodger Stadium. Additional activities include the inaugural ‘Trailblazer Series’ in Compton, JRF Scholars at MLB ballparks, special Diverse Business Partner awards as well as MLB Network & MLB.com coverage.
As has been tradition each April 15th since 2009, MLB will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day with all players and on-field personnel wearing Number ’42’ during that day’s games.
JACKIE ROBINSON DAY BALLPARK ACTIVITY
All Clubs playing at home on Saturday, April 15th will commemorate Jackie Robinson Day with special on-field, pregame ceremonies in their ballparks. Home Clubs will feature Jackie Robinson Day jeweled bases and lineup cards. The Los Angeles Dodgers will be joined by the Robinson Family (Rachel, Sharon and David), Dodgers owner Magic Johnson as well as Baseball Hall of Famers Frank Robinson and Sandy Koufax and Hall of Fame Broadcaster Vin Scully in the unveiling of a statue dedicated to Jackie. The statue depicts a young Jackie Robinson in his rookie season (1947) sliding into home plate in a salute to his signature playing style.
Additionally, MLB Clubs will host more than 50 Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) scholars and alumni for ceremonies across the league. With support from donors like Major League Baseball and MLB Clubs, the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship Program provides four-years of financial assistance and direct program services annually to 225 highly motivated students attending 100 colleges and universities across the country, and has developed a mentoring curriculum to reach a broad cohort of college students beyond its core “JRF Scholars”. The Foundation’s unique program offers comprehensive support that includes internship and permanent job placement; curriculum and career guidance; one-on-one mentoring; and leadership and practical life skills training. The Jackie Robinson Foundation’s celebrated, hands-on approach has resulted in a consistent, nearly 100% graduation rate throughout its 44-year history. The Foundation will also break ground later this month on the Jackie Robinson Museum in lower Manhattan. The Museum will expand the JRF’s educational mission by chronicling Jackie Robinson’s achievements and challenging people of all ages to pursue a life of achievement and purpose.
INAUGURAL ‘TRAILBLAZER SERIES’
Major League Baseball and USA Baseball recently announced the launch of the inaugural ‘Trailblazer Series,’ a first-of-its-kind girls baseball tournament hosted in conjunction with Jackie Robinson Day. Approximately 100 girls, ages 16 and under, representing 20 states across the country as well as Washington D.C. and Canada, will participate in the three-day tournament held in the greater Los Angeles-area from Thursday, April 13th through Saturday, April 15th. The girls playing in the Trailblazer Series have been divided into two age divisions, 16U & 12U, and placed onto teams by random selection. They will be coached by some of the nation’s top female baseball coaches and players, including those from USA Baseball’s Women’s National Team. Additional activities for Trailblazer Series participants will include non-game instruction from the coaches, appearances by special guests connected to baseball, and attending Jackie Robinson Day celebrations at Dodger Stadium on April 15th. The entire event is completely expense-free for participants.
In addition to the weekend’s celebration of women in baseball, USA Baseball’s National Member Organizations, which sanction leagues across the country and around the world, reaffirmed their commitment to providing girls opportunities to participate in their baseball leagues. Leaders at AABC, American Legion, Babe Ruth League, Dixie Boys and Majors, Dixie Youth, Little League International, NABF, NFHS, PONY, USSSA and MLB’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program are all working toward growing the opportunities afforded to girls in the game.
“In memory of Jackie Robinson, Major League Baseball is committed to making our sport accessible and inclusive for all those who want to play, coach or participate,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “MLB and USA Baseball have listened to the growing demand for girls’ and women’s baseball by launching this unprecedented event. We will be proud to do so on the most meaningful date on our calendar, Jackie Robinson Day, at our Youth Academy in Compton. It is our honor to support trailblazing young women who will be outstanding representatives of their communities.”
JACKIE ROBINSON MOST VALUABLE BUSINESS PARTNER AWARD
Major League Baseball and several MLB Clubs are also announcing the 2017 recipients of the “Jackie Robinson Most Valuable Business Partner Award (MVBP),” which is given on an annual basis, in recognition of Jackie Robinson Day, to minority-owned, women-owned and other diverse-owned businesses and organizations whose work reflects the character and commitment to the excellence of Jackie Robinson’s legacy. Eight clubs have named 11 companies as MVBP Award recipients, including the following: Alpha Insulation Southern Door (Atlanta Braves), C. Beene & Associates (Detroit Tigers), C&G Construction Supply (Chicago Cubs), Continental Painting & Decorating (Chicago Cubs), Contour (Seattle Mariners), Eckert Welding (Cincinnati Reds), KVA Promotions (San Diego Padres), Lumi Organics (Pittsburgh Pirates), PromoShop (Cleveland Indians) and Terra Engineering (Chicago Cubs).
The Diverse Business Partners program is the leading, economically-driven business initiative designed to cultivate new and existing partnerships with minority-owned and female-owned businesses by increasing opportunities for them to participate in the procurement activities of MLB. MLB has spent more than $1 billion with diverse businesses since the program was created.
MLB NETWORK PROGRAMMING
Network is televising a variety of programming this weekend marking Jackie Robinson Day, including a new episode of Play Ball, MLB Network’s weekly player interview and demonstration show for kids, on Saturday, April 15 at 10:00 a.m. ET that will include an introduction to Robinson’s life, plus commentary on Robinson’s playing style from Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton. Throughout the rest of the day, MLB Network will provide coverage of the various tributes to Robinson across the league as well as game live look-ins and highlights on MLB Tonight at 4:00 p.m. ET, followed by coverage of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ home game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. In a new program on Sunday, April 16th, current Major Leaguers Chris Archer, Mychal Givens, Josh Harrison, Adam Jones, Andrew McCutchen, Marcus Stroman and MLB Senior Vice President, Youth Programs Tony Reagins discuss Robinson’s lasting impact and the current state of the game since his debut in MLB Network Roundtable – Jackie Robinson: 70 Years Later, hosted by MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds.
MLB.com will have complete coverage of the day’s events from each Major League ballpark with video highlights, interviews, stories from its Club beat and national reporters and photographs. Jackie Robinson Day will be supported across social media again with its official hashtag – #Jackie42.
SPECIAL MLB.COM AUCTION TO BENEFIT THE JACKIE ROBINSON FOUNDATION
One number ‘42’ jersey will be signed by each member of every Club and auctioned off on MLB.com (MLB.com/42jersey), with proceeds benefitting the Jackie Robinson Foundation. The auction will be LIVE on Saturday, April 15th.
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 his legacy. For more information, please visit MLBCommunity.org.