Rangers raise autism awareness, prep for Robinson Day

Rangers raise autism awareness, prep for Robinson Day

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers hosted Autism Awareness Night on Tuesday and have special events planned for Jackie Robinson Day on Wednesday.

Rangers players wore special T-shirts that read "Shine the Light on Autism" during Tuesday's game. The ceremonial first pitch participants were Barron McClure and his mother, Carrie, who is the morning host of "Good Morning Texas" on local television.

Major League Baseball and the 30 clubs are again conducting league-wide awareness of autism in association with Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization. April is National Autism Awareness Month.

Wednesday will be Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball, commemorating the 68th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier in 1947 as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers. For the seventh consecutive year, all players will wear No. 42 in honor of Robinson.

The Rangers will have pregame recognition of the United Negro College Fund, along with representatives of Texas College, Jarvis Christian College and Huston-Tillotson University. Texas State District 109 Representative Helen Giddings will throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and the national anthem will be sung by Kenya Crawford of First Saint John Cathedral of Fort Worth. The Rangers are 5-1 on Jackie Robinson Day.

Worth noting 

• The Rangers haven't announced if they will activate reliever Tanner Scheppers off the disabled list. They likely will wait one more day rather than make another roster move.

• In attempt to shake up his offense, manager Jeff Banister dropped Leonys Martin out of the leadoff spot Tuesday. Rougned Odor batted leadoff for the first time this season. Banister said the move is temporary.

• Reliever Kyuji Fujikawa, on the disabled list because of tightness in his right groin muscle, made his first appearance on a medical rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco on Tuesday. Pitching against Northwest Arkansas, Fujikawa allowed three runs on three hits. Only one of the runs was earned.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.