"Jackie Robinson running onto Ebbets Field is not only the most important and powerful moment in Baseball history, but it also changed the course of American history," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "Jackie's courage and perseverance made it possible for African Americans and players of all races and ethnicities to compete on the same field."
"We are delighted once again to take part in the commemoration recognizing my husband's barrier breaking achievements made some 66 years ago," said Rachel Robinson, wife of Jackie Robinson. "We are particularly proud that through the efforts of MLB and the movie "42," a new generation will not only learn about Jack, but it will also spark them to think about what they can do in their lives to make significant differences in their own communities."
REVIVING BASEBALL IN INNER CITIES (RBI) IN GREATER LOS ANGELES
On Saturday, April 13th, and Sunday, April 14th, Major League Baseball will host two baseball and softball clinics for local Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) youth from the Greater Los Angeles area. Angel Stadium of Anaheim, the home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, will be the site of Saturday's clinic for 250 boys and girls from Angels RBI. That clinic will feature Hall of Famer Rod Carew, Angels outfielder J.B. Shuck, Angels bullpen coach Steve Soliz and Sharon Robinson. This clinic also will be administered by the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.
On Sunday, 250 kids from Los Angeles-area RBI programs will head to Dodger Stadium, the home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, to be coached by Dodger alumni Maury Wills, Tommy Davis, Al Downing, Kenny Landreaux, Lou Johnson, Dennis Powell and Derrel Thomas. The clinics also will feature appearances by MLB Executive Vice President of Baseball Development and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, Dodgers legend and 1956 National League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young Award Winner Don Newcombe, and Sharon Robinson. This clinic also will be administered by the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.
Major League Baseball will present two private screening of the film "42" for participants of Angels RBI and several Los Angeles-area RBI programs. Saturday's screening will be held at Rave Cinemas 15 in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles, and Sunday's will be at AMC Orange 30 in Orange, CA. The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson and Academy Award® nominee Harrison Ford as Dodger General Manager Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers executive who signed Jackie to the team. Presented by Warner Bros. Pictures and Legendary Pictures, "42" is written and directed by Academy Award® winner Brian Helgeland and is a Legendary Pictures Production.
The RBI program is the MLB youth initiative designed to give young people from underserved communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourage academic success and teach the value of teamwork and other important life lessons.
MLB NETWORK PROGRAMMING
MLB Network will air a special episode of Studio 42 with Bob Costas featuring Don Newcombe, who is joined by Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman, to discuss Newcombe's former teammate Jackie Robinson and the new movie about Robinson's breaking baseball's color barrier, "42." The episode will air on Saturday, April 13th, at 4:00 p.m. ET and on Sunday, April 14th, at 10:00 p.m. ET. In the show, taped at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles last week, Newcombe comments on Robinson both on and off the baseball diamond, while Boseman, who portrays Robinson, and Ford, who plays Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey, talk about what drew them to the film and how they prepared to play such larger-than-life characters. Boseman details his Spring Training-like practices and Ford describes studying Rickey's mannerisms by watching his appearance on an episode of the game show "What's My Line?" in 1959.
SHARON ROBINSON VISITING WASHINGTON MIDDLE SCHOOL
On the morning of Jackie Robinson Day, Jackie's daughter, Sharon, will visit the students of Washington Middle School in Pasadena to discuss her new book, "Jackie Robinson: American Hero," and the Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life program. Jackie Robinson attended Washington Middle School (then Washington Junior High School) as a young man. The school is participating in a special Breaking Barriers essay contest where one student will be presented with a special gift by Sharon.
The Breaking Barriers program features an essay contest that recognizes students for their efforts to overcome personal barriers using the values exemplified by Jackie Robinson. Breaking Barriers was developed by Major League Baseball, Sharon Robinson, and Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education, and media company. Since its inception in 1997, Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life has reached more than 22 million children and 2.9 million educators in the continental United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The Breaking Barriers essay contest asks students in grades four through nine to submit an essay about barriers or obstacles they have faced or are still facing in their lives, and how they overcame those obstacles using the values demonstrated by Jackie Robinson: commitment, citizenship, courage, determination, excellence, justice, persistence, teamwork, and integrity. Major League Baseball and Sharon Robinson will announce the winners of the 2013 Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life Essay Contest on Jackie Robinson Day. Following the official announcement, Sharon will visit select winners' schools to personally congratulate and recognize them.
JACKIE ROBINSON DAY BALLPARK ACTIVITY
All Clubs playing at home on Monday, April 15th (or Tuesday, April 16th, if off on Monday) will commemorate Jackie Robinson Day with special on-field, pre-game ceremonies in their ballparks. Home Clubs will feature Jackie Robinson Day jeweled bases and lineup cards, and a special video will be shown in-stadium highlighting Jackie's story and nine values. Clubs not playing at home on April 15th or April 16th will hold Jackie Robinson Day celebrations at their ballparks during another homestand later in the month. The Robinson family will join MLB in a special Jackie Robinson Day celebration at Dodger Stadium. The ceremony will include Rachel, Sharon, and David Robinson (Jackie's son).
JACKIE ROBINSON DAY NATIONAL BROADCAST
ESPN will televise the April 15th game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park at 7:10 p.m. EST.
SPECIAL MLB.COM AUCTION TO BENEFIT THE JACKIE ROBINSON FOUNDATION
One Number 42 jersey from each Club will be signed and auctioned-off on MLB.com, with the proceeds benefitting the Jackie Robinson Foundation. The Foundation, established in 1973, provides four-year college scholarships, graduate school grants and extensive mentoring to a diverse group of academically distinguished students with leadership potential. The Foundation strives to cultivate future leaders who will be ambassadors of Jackie Robinson's guiding life tenet, "A life is not important except in its impact on other lives." Major League Baseball and its Clubs are longstanding supporters of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and currently sponsor more than 80 Jackie Robinson Scholars.
MLB.COM DIGITAL SUPPORT - Iam42.com
MLB.com has redesigned Iam42.com to be a custom Instagram page where fans can share their thoughts and photos in support of Jackie Robinson Day, including using the hashtag #Jackie42 to unify the league-wide commemorations. MLB.com will have complete coverage of the events at each Major League ballpark with photographs, video highlights and interviews and stories from its Club beat and national reporters, including Meggie Zahneis, the 2011 Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life Grand Prize Essay Winner who earned a breakthrough job at MLB.com. Additionally, MLB.com will support Jackie Robinson Day events across MLB.com, Cut4.com, and social media platforms including Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Instagram.
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. Commissioner Selig and MLB have celebrated Robinson's legacy in a unified, League-wide show of support for many years, including retiring his number throughout the League 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 through the RBI program, Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life, and other initiatives, including Diverse Business Partners and the MLB Urban Youth Academies. For more information, please visit MLBCommunity.org.