"Jackie Robinson is an American icon whose accomplishments and leadership continue to inspire us in Baseball and our society at large," Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said. "Major League Baseball proudly celebrates his enduring legacy, which is reflected by extraordinary on-field diversity of players from all backgrounds, enthusiastic participation in youth baseball and softball, and proven results in diverse business efforts."
"I am quite proud that when Jack stepped onto the field on April 15, 1947, and broke the color barrier in baseball, he helped to further social change in America," said Rachel Robinson. "On behalf of our family and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, we are thrilled that Major League Baseball continues to honor him and works to ensure that what he stood for will not be forgotten by future generations."
The annual MLB Diversity Business Summit, which is co-hosted by the New York Yankees, will be held in New York City on Monday, April 14th and on Jackie Robinson Day on Tuesday, April 15th. The Summit is the premier sports employment conference and supplier diversity trade fair, and uniquely and directly connects attendees with decision-makers for employment and business opportunities from all 30 MLB Clubs, MLB Network, MLB Advanced Media, Minor League Baseball Clubs and MLB's Central Office in New York City. Various elements of the third annual MLB Diversity Business Summit include a keynote speech by Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig, league-wide networking, matchmaking sessions for entrepreneurs, interviews for job seekers, panel discussions, workshops and more.
Yesterday, MLB held a clinic for Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) youth from the greater New York City area at Macombs Dam Park, which is across the street from Yankee Stadium, featuring Sharon Robinson, Jackie's daughter, MLB Educational Programming Consultant and author, MLB Network Analysts Harold Reynolds and Cliff Floyd as well as Jackie Bradley, Jr. of the Boston Red Sox and Dellin Betances of the New York Yankees. The RBI program is the MLB youth initiative designed to give young people from underserved communities, ages 5 to 18, the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourage academic success and teach the value of teamwork and other important life lessons.
JACKIE ROBINSON DAY BALLPARK ACTIVITY
All Clubs playing at home on Tuesday, April 15th 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. A number of Clubs will host Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars and include them in their pre-game, on-field ceremonies.
Prior to the Jackie Robinson Day Interleague game between the Yankees and the Chicago Cubs, the Robinson family will join the family of Nelson Mandela, the New York Yankees and distinguished guests in a Monument Park ceremony to unveil a plaque dedicated to Mandela.
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 35 Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars.
MLB NETWORK PROGRAMMING
MLB Network will be providing highlights throughout Jackie Robinson Day, including LIVE look-ins and coverage of Club commemorations.
MLB.COM DIGITAL SUPPORT - Iam42.com
Iam42.com, which is powered by MLB.com, is 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, 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 through official MLB and Club accounts on social media channels 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 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 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.