Phillies to Salute Jackie Robinson on Friday, April 15

Special pre-game tribute to commemorate the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson & celebrate African-American pioneers who opened doors for others

One of the most significant moments in Major League Baseball history is when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier on April 15, 1947. The Phillies will pay tribute to this milestone and celebrate the 69th anniversary of the occasion with a "Jackie Robinson Salute" at Citizens Bank Park on Friday, April 15, before and during the 7:05 p.m. game against the Washington Nationals. 

In honor of the tribute, the first 500 fans who purchase tickets through a special Theme Night Ticket Offer will receive a coupon for an exclusive Philadelphia Stars T-Shirt. Click here for the special Theme Night Ticket offer.


1 p.m. Philadelphia Stars Memorial Park in Fairmount Park

  • The Phillies will join the Business Association of West Parkside, WURD Radio, City officials and 200 students from local schools at a free outdoor event honoring the legacy of Jackie Robinson and 10th anniversary of the Philadelphia Stars Memorial Park. Among the highlights will be an acapella performance, with the students singing songs from Jackie's era. Phillies special guests include alum Gary Matthews, the Phillie Phanatic, Phillies Ballgirls and front office members.

5:30 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park

  • Group Tour Room: WHYY and the Phillies will host a sold-out Jackie Robinson preview screening & panel. Attendees will view clips from Jackie Robinson, the newest PBS documentary on the baseball legend, and see Florentine Films' short film The Anderson Monarchs. Opening remarks will be made by Dr. Mahlene Duckett-Lee, daughter of the late Mahlon Duckett who played for the Philadelphia Stars, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Dr. James Peterson, host of WHYY's The Remix, with panelists David McMahon, co-producer, co-director and co-writer of Jackie Robinson, Phillies alumnus & 1983 NLCS MVP Gary "Sarge" Matthews, and Scott Bandura and Zion Spearman of the Anderson Monarchs baseball team. Documentary producer Sarah Burns will also be in attendance.
  • Ashburn Alley: Photos and learn facts about Jackie's life from Jackie Robinson storyteller Ron Whittington. Also, WHYY will have a kiosk on the concourse featuring prize packs and a Jackie Robinson cutout.
  • Hall of Fame Club: Paintings of Jackie Robinson and General Benjamin Davis, Jr. of the Tuskegee Airmen by local artist Sylvia Castellanos will be on display. The artist will also be available to meet with fans.

6:40 p.m. On-Field Tribute

  • All playing personnel will wear the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson's Major League debut, including umpires, players, coaches and managers. There will also be commemorative base jewels and lineup cards.
  • On PhanaVision, fans are invited to watch a video highlighting the Ken Burns documentary Jackie Robinson airing on WHYY. Also, being recognized is the Philadelphia Stars Negro League Baseball Team, with a video highlighting moments from the Philadelphia Stars Memorial Tribute, held earlier that afternoon. Taking part in the on-field tribute will be Dr. Mahlene Duckett-Lee, daughter of former Philadelphia Stars' player Mahlon Duckett.
  • Members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, who made history at the same time Jackie Robinson broke the "color line" in Major League Baseball, will serve as the honor guard for the game.
  • Ceremonial first pitch by Zion Spearman and Scott Bandura of the Anderson Monarchs, along with WHYY board member Stanley Greene. Recognition of Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholar, John Bernagene, a Sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania and Phillies RBI Jackie Robinson Scholar, Skyler Glover, a Freshman at Rutgers-Camden.
  • The national anthem and a powerful performance of "Oh Happy Day" will be sung by a joint choir from six local churches: Berachah Baptist Church, Bright Hope Baptist Church, Deliverance Evangelistic Church, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, Mount Airy Church of God in Christ, and Sharon Baptist Church.

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