"Jackie Robinson's courage on April 15, 1947 represents the proudest and most powerful moment in baseball history," Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said. "The Breaking Barriers program is an extraordinary testament to Jackie's values and the manner in which they continue to inspire people of all ages. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I congratulate all the winners of this year's essay contest, and I particularly recognize Raymond and Michael, whom I look forward to meeting at this year's Midsummer Classic and World Series."
"The number of essays we received this year is phenomenal - they were uplifting and truly inspiring," said Sharon Robinson. "I am honored that the values my father used to break the color barrier have played such a large role in helping so many young people break through their own barriers. I am so happy for all of our winners and I look forward to meeting them."
The list of national winners is as follows:
Raymond Beasley V, Grade 5, Brentwood, CA
Michael Andaloro, Grade 9, Phoenix, AZ
Peter Zucca, Grade 4, Telford, PA
Christian Leigh, Grade 5, Port Jefferson Station, NY
Drew Becker, Grade 8, Heber City, UT
Ruth Murdoch, Grade 8, Sudlersville, MD
Nyahla Hubbard, Grade 5, LaGrange, GA
Mahiur Rahman, Grade 5, Norwalk, CT
Noah Williams, Grade 6, Dickson, TN
Jordan Edith, Grade 7, Richmond Heights, OH
Breaking Barriers was developed by MLB, Sharon Robinson, and Scholastic, the global children's publishing, education, and media company. The program is supported by Church & Dwight Co., Inc., makers of ARM & HAMMER™ and OxiClean™ and an official sponsor of Major League Baseball, which is making an annual donation of $150,000 to the program from 2014 through 2016. 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.
Sharon Robinson is the author of several widely-praised nonfiction books and novels for children. In her book, Jackie Robinson: American Hero (Scholastic; March 2013), a biography and history lesson for young readers, Sharon pays tribute to her father's memory and introduces Jackie Robinson to a new generation of readers. For more information about Sharon Robinson, please visit www.sharonrobinsonink.com.
For additional information on Breaking Barriers, please visit mlbcommunity.org/breakingbarriers.