|Jackie Robinson Day|
The logo used since 2009 for Jackie Robinson Day by Major League Baseball
|Significance||Honoring the legacy of Jackie Robinson|
|Next time||15 April 2020|
Jackie Robinson Day is a traditional event which occurs annually in Major League Baseball, commemorating and honoring the day Jackie Robinson made his major league debut. April 15 was Opening Day in 1947, Robinson's first season in the Major Leagues. Initiated for the first time on April 15, 2004, Jackie Robinson Day is celebrated each year on that day. The festivity is a result of Robinson's memorable career, best known for becoming the first black major league baseball player of the modern era in 1947.His debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers (today known as the Los Angeles Dodgers) ended approximately 80 years of baseball segregation, also known as the baseball color line, or color barrier. He also was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, remembered for his services with the number 42 jersey.
Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization, the oldest of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901 respectively. After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises 256 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.
Jack Roosevelt Robinson was an American professional baseball player who became the first African American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) in the modern era. Robinson broke the baseball color line when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base on April 15, 1947. When the Dodgers signed Robinson, they heralded the end of racial segregation in professional baseball that had relegated black players to the Negro leagues since the 1880s. Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.
Opening Day is the day on which professional baseball leagues begin their regular season. For Major League Baseball and most of the minor leagues, this day typically falls during the first week of April. In Nippon Professional Baseball, this day typically falls in the last week of March.
The gala is celebrated at varied ballparks by Major League team players. On that one day, all players, coaches, and managers on both teams, and the umpires, wear #42 on their jerseys.
Shea Stadium was one of the prominent venues hosting the event, having commemorated the retirement of Robinson's number 42 jersey in 1997. Bob DuPuy, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball, described Jackie Robinson Day as a significance "not only for baseball, but for our country in general."
Shea Stadium was a stadium in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens, New York City. Built as a multi-purpose stadium, it was the home park of Major League Baseball's New York Mets for 45 seasons (1964–2008), as well as the New York Jets football team from 1964 to 1983.
The 1997 Major League Baseball season was the inaugural season for Interleague play, as well as the final season in the American League for the Milwaukee Brewers before moving to the NL the following season. The California Angels changed their name to the Anaheim Angels. The Florida Marlins ended the season as the World Champions defeating the Cleveland Indians in a seven-game World Series, four games to three.
Robert A. "Bob" DuPuy is a lawyer and former President and was Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball (MLB). He assumed both titles on March 7, 2002. Prior to joining Major League Baseball in 1998, he was a partner and management committee member of Foley & Lardner, a large Milwaukee-based law firm. He returned to Foley & Lardner in 2010 as a partner with the firm's Sports Industry Team.
Baseball players of Black African descent were excluded from Major League Baseball until 1947. On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson made his major league debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field before a crowd of 26,623 spectators, more than 14,000 of whom were black.By the late 1950s, the percentage of black players on Major League teams matched or exceeded that of the general population.
Ebbets Field was a Major League Baseball stadium in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, New York. It is known mainly as the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team of the National League, from 1913 to 1957, but was also home to three National Football League teams in the 1920s. Ebbets Field was demolished in 1960 and replaced by apartment buildings.
In 1997, MLB universally retired his uniform number, No. 42, across all major league teams; he was the first pro athlete in any sport to be so honored.
After baseball, Robinson became heavily involved working for the NAACP, campaigning for civil rights. Robinson worked with President Nixon and the New York governor, Nelson Rockefeller.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is a civil rights organization in the United States, formed in 1909 as a bi-racial endeavor to advance justice for African Americans by a group including W. E. B. Du Bois, Mary White Ovington and Moorfield Storey.
In March 2004, Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig announced that Major League Baseball would honor Robinson on April 15 as "Jackie Robinson Day". He made the announcement with Sharon Robinson, the daughter of Jackie Robinson.The first Jackie Robinson Day was on April 15, 2004. That day was a start to an annual tradition throughout Major League Baseball and an inspirational reminder about what happened on that day exactly fifty-seven years earlier when Jackie Robinson became a Major League Baseball player. The day would be the first official league-wide Jackie Robinson Day, having festivities taking place at all 13 ballparks where Major League games were scheduled to be played.
"I have often stated that baseball's proudest moment and its most powerful social statement came on April 15, 1947 when Jackie Robinson first set foot on a Major League Baseball field", said Selig. "On that day, Jackie brought down the color barrier and ushered in the era in which baseball became the true national pastime. Fifty years after that historic event, in April 1997, I was proud to join Rachel Robinson and President Bill Clinton at Shea Stadium to honor Jackie by retiring his uniform number 42 in perpetuity. By establishing April 15 as 'Jackie Robinson Day' throughout Major League Baseball, we are further ensuring that the incredible contributions and sacrifices he made — for baseball and society — will not be forgotten."
It began that Thursday morning with Sharon Robinson, ringing the ceremonial Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange.Rachel Robinson (Jackie Robinson's wife), officials from the Major League Baseball foundation, and officials of the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) took part in the special ceremony honoring Jackie Robinson. Festivities took place in the 13 ballparks that had scheduled games that day. The balls had a "42" logo on each of them for the games that day. Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to each game. "I'm very happy my son is in Boston today, we're happy that the scholars and family are at different clubs and look forward to expanding the celebration as the years go on", Robinson said. "And also continuing to come up with creative ways to reach out to the African-American community and bring them into this wonderful game of baseball that we all love."
April 15, 2005, was the 58th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's major league debut. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig officially declared that every April 15 would be designated as Jackie Robinson Day and it would be celebrated each year throughout Major League Baseball.Every ballpark in Major League Baseball in the United States celebrated Jackie Robinson Day, unlike in 2004 when it was only celebrated in 13 ballparks. Each ballpark showed a video tribute to Robinson, and many brought out Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars onto the field before the games. In Cincinnati, Ohio, Ken Griffey, Jr. spoke of how much every African-American baseball player owes Robinson, who was chosen by manager Branch Rickey to break the color line because of Robinson's inner courage and ability to keep his temper in check.
April 15, 2006, was the 59th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's major league debut. Rachel Robinson attended the ceremony, having former Negro Leagues players Robert Scott and Armando Vazquez also attending the ceremony.His widow was honored and celebrated at Shea Stadium. After a video tribute on the scoreboard of Shea Stadium of Jackie Robinson, Rachel Robinson walked to the pitcher's mound before the New York Mets hosted the Milwaukee Brewers, along with Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, and New York Mets manager Willie Randolph. "I've got a picture of Jackie in my office, so I think about that every day," Randolph said. "I'm just happy to be a part of this day." A large blue, gray and white circle with "42" on it was put over home plate representing the colors of Jackie Robinson's uniform with the Dodgers as a major leaguer.
April 15, 2007, was the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's major league debut, with ceremonies held at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. During the 2007 regular season, Ken Griffey, Jr. called Bud Selig to ask for permission to wear number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day.Griffey received special permission from Rachel Robinson to wear number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day of 2007.
Number 42 had been retired for all Major League Baseball teams. This meant that no future Major League Baseball player could wear it. The number was retired in a ceremony which took place in 1997 at Shea Stadium to mark the 50th anniversary of Robinson's first game with the Dodgers. (The last player to wear the Number 42 is Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees, who retired at the end of the 2013 season).Selig embraced the gesture and encouraged other Major League Baseball clubs to have a player wear number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day as well.
Several players thought having over 150 players wearing number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day was far too many."This is supposed to be an honor", Minnesota Twins outfielder Torii Hunter told USA Today , "and just a handful of guys wearing the number. Now you've got entire teams doing it. I think we're killing the meaning. It should be special wearing Jackie's number, not just because it looks cool." Cleveland Indians pitcher CC Sabathia, who decried the lack of African-American players in the game in March 2007, told USA Today that "It kind of waters it down. I could see the Dodgers since that was his team, but not everyone else." "I didn't know so many guys planned to wear the number. I sure wasn't expecting whole teams to wear it", Griffey told the USA Today. "But I'm not going to look at it as a negative. This is a tribute for what the man has done, a day to celebrate." Garret Anderson, Los Angeles Angels left fielder, told the USA Today that he won't wear number 42 because "I just don't feel I'm worthy of it."
Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson, both Baseball Hall of Famers, threw the ceremonial first pitches, and fellow Hall of Famers Joe Morgan and Dave Winfield were on hand. Actors Courtney B. Vance and Marlon Wayans also attended the Jackie Robinson Day ceremony. Academy Award winner Jennifer Hudson sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" before the games started.More than 240 players wore number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson's retired number, including the entire team rosters of the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Houston Astros, Philadelphia Phillies, St. Louis Cardinals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Pittsburgh Pirates. All scheduled games were played that day except for several games – notably the Washington Nationals-New York Mets, the Houston Astros-Philadelphia Phillies (the game and the ceremony was held on the make-up date on April 23, 2007), as was the Pirates game against the San Francisco Giants; the uniforms were worn at the team's next home game at PNC Park – all due to a major rainstorm in the Eastern United States that postponed six games.
Andre Ethier, Russell Martin and Wilson Valdez managed to each earn three hits each during the Dodgers game. Ethier hit a home run which drove in the first four runs of the season for the Dodgers, who stole five bases — their most since August 23, 1999 when they stole seven in a game at Milwaukee."It's kind of cool to have a decent game on Jackie Robinson Day," Martin said. "I’m going to remember this probably for the rest of my life." Randy Wolf, who was playing for the Dodgers at the time (currently a free agent) allowed six hits and three runs in six innings and struck out seven. "The whole team wearing No. 42, it kind of goes sour if we don’t win," Wolf said. "It was great. There were a lot of special people here. It's a special day and I think they did it right." The San Diego Padres' José Cruz, Jr. hit his 200th career home run.
Chris Young's streak of 25 consecutive road starts without a loss was broken that day by the Dodgers win. The only other pitcher in major league baseball history had gone as many as 25 straight road starts without losing — Allie Reynolds had a 25-game streak in 1948–1949."I was terrible," Young said. "I just never found my rhythm and never found my groove. I put the guys in a hole early in the game and it was just too much to overcome. I can’t imagine, having to go through that, the courage it took, the discipline, and just how successful he was. I mean, he wasn’t just successful integrating the game. He was a great baseball player. He's a Hall of Fame baseball player. He wouldn’t allow himself to fail, and that's tremendous."
"Oh Happy Day," a Robinson favorite, was sung by The Brookinaires Gospel Choir from The First African Methodist Episcopal Church. Paintings of Minnesota Twins logos acknowledging Robinson were on both sides of the home plate with another behind second base, and "Jackie Robinson Day" was printed on the bases. A video tribute with Morgan and Aaron among those participating was shown. Several current players expressed their thanks to Robinson in the video also.
On April 15, 2008, the 61st anniversary of Jackie Robinson's major league debut,over 330 team members wore number 42, which was up from about 240 the previous year. When the teams took the field, all players, managers and coaches were wearing number 42, and this was repeated at all other 14 ballparks that had scheduled games that day. "The significance of Jackie Robinson Day is not lost on anyone", said Bob DuPuy. "As more and more people realize what April 15 means, not only for baseball but for our country in general, I think you're going to see the celebration grow annually."
The celebration for the 2009 season, commemorating the 62nd anniversary of Robinson's debut, included the dedication for the Jackie Robinson Rotunda at Citi Field,the New York Mets' new home in Flushing Meadows prior to the Mets playing the San Diego Padres in the second regular season game to be played there. Additionally, for the first time, all uniformed personnel (players, managers, coaches and umpires) wore #42 for the day. The sole exception was when the scheduled game at Nationals Park between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Washington Nationals was rained out; they wore the jerseys in the night game of a day-night doubleheader May 16.
The celebration of Jackie Robinson Day, marking the 63rd anniversary of his debut, marked the second season that all uniformed personnel and umpires wearing #42. A total of twelve games were played that day, so as a result, several teams wore Robinson's number in another game in April due to an off day planned for several teams. The main celebration was again in New York, but was held at the new Yankee Stadium, yards from the original stadium where Robinson played in seven World Series against the New York Yankees.
The 64th anniversary of Robinson's debut saw the establishment of a new MLB website, www.iam42.com.
The 67th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's debut was celebrated at Historic Dodgertown, where Robinson and teammates used to spend their spring training preparing for the upcoming season for the Dodgers. Owned by former Dodger owner Peter O'Malley, Historic Dodgertown hosted the 2014 celebration by putting on a minor league exhibition game.
To commemorate the 70th anniversary of Robinson's major league debut, the Dodgers unveiled a bronze statue of Robinson at Dodger Stadium. The statue, located in the stadium's left-field plaza, depicts Robinson sliding into home plate as a rookie.
Due to a weather postponement of their originally scheduled game on April 15, the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs and the Detroit Tigers and the New York Yankees honored Robinson’s legacy on May 14 and June 4 in a make-up game at Wrigley Field and Comerica Park, respective-wise.
The 72nd anniversary was observed on April 15 and 16 (for teams which didn't have games on April 15th).
The Cincinnati Reds are an American professional baseball team based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Reds compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) Central division. They were a charter member of the American Association in 1882 and joined the NL in 1890.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are an American professional baseball team based in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the National League (NL) West division. Established in 1883 in Brooklyn, New York, the team moved to Los Angeles before the 1958 season. They played for four seasons at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before moving to their current home of Dodger Stadium in 1962.
George Kenneth Griffey Jr. nicknamed "Junior" and "The Kid", is an American former professional baseball outfielder who played 22 years in Major League Baseball (MLB). He spent most of his career with the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds, along with a short stint with the Chicago White Sox. A member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and a 13-time All-Star, Griffey is one of the most prolific home run hitters in baseball history; his 630 home runs rank as the seventh-most in MLB history. Griffey was also an exceptional defender and won 10 Gold Glove Awards in center field. He is tied for the record of most consecutive games with a home run.
Dodger Stadium, occasionally called by the metonym Chavez Ravine, is a baseball park located in the Elysian Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, the home field to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the city's National League franchise of Major League Baseball (MLB). Opened 57 years ago on April 10, 1962, it was constructed in less than three years at a cost of US$23 million, financed by private sources. Dodger Stadium is currently the oldest ballpark in MLB west of the Mississippi River, and third-oldest overall, after Fenway Park in Boston (1912) and Wrigley Field in Chicago (1914) and is the world's largest baseball stadium by seat capacity. Often referred to as a "pitcher's ballpark", the stadium has seen twelve no-hitters, two of which were perfect games.
Seals Stadium was a minor league baseball stadium in San Francisco, that later became the first home of the major league San Francisco Giants. Opened in the Mission District in 1931, Seals Stadium was the longtime home of the San Francisco Seals (1931–57) of the Pacific Coast League. The Pacific Coast League Mission Reds (1931–37) shared the ballpark with the Seals for the first seven years before moving to Los Angeles.
The Radiology Associates Field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark is a historic baseball field in Daytona Beach, Florida, United States. It is located at 105 East Orange Avenue on City Island, in the Halifax River.
Citi Field is a baseball park located in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in New York City. Completed in 2009, it is the home field of the New York Mets of the National League division of Major League Baseball. The stadium was built as a replacement for and adjacent to Shea Stadium, which opened in 1964 next to the site of the 1964 New York World's Fair.
Monument Park is an open-air museum located in Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York City, containing a collection of monuments, plaques, and retired numbers honoring distinguished members of the New York Yankees. When Red Ruffing's plaque was dedicated in 2004, his son called it "the second-greatest honor you can have in baseball, in my opinion" trailing only induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Old-Timers' Day generally refers to a tradition in Major League Baseball of a team, especially the New York Yankees, devoting the early afternoon preceding a weekend late afternoon game to celebrate the baseball-related accomplishments of its former players who have since retired. The pattern has been copied intermittently by other sports but has failed to catch on.
The 2007 Major League Baseball season began on April 1 with a rematch of the 2006 National League Championship Series; the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets played the first game of the season at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, which was won by the Mets, 6–1. The regular season concluded with seven teams entering the postseason who had failed to reach the 2006 playoffs including all National League teams, with only the New York Yankees returning; a dramatic one-game playoff between the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres; and the largest September collapse for a leading team in baseball history, with the Mets squandering a 7-game lead with 17 to play, losing on the final day of the regular season, and the Philadelphia Phillies capturing the National League East for the first time since 1993. The season ended on October 28, with the Boston Red Sox sweeping the 2007 World Series over the Rockies, four games to none.
The New York Mets' 1997 season was the 36th regular season for the Mets. They went 88-74 and finished 3rd in the NL East. They were managed by Bobby Valentine. They played home games at Shea Stadium.
On April 15, Jackie Robinson was the opening day first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first black player in Major League Baseball. Robinson went on to bat .297, score 125 runs, steal 29 bases and be named the very first African-American Rookie of the Year. The Dodgers won the National League title and went on to lose to the New York Yankees in the 1947 World Series. This season was dramatized in the movie 42.
In baseball, the uniform number is a number worn on the uniform of each player and coach. Numbers are used for the purpose of easily identifying each person on the field as no two people from the same team can wear the same number. Although designed for identification purposes only, numbers have become the source of superstition, emotional attachment, and honor. The number is always on the back of the jersey, often on the front, and occasionally seen on the left leg of the pants.
The 2009 Major League Baseball season began on April 5, 2009, the regular season was extended two days for a one-game playoff between the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins to decide the American League Central Division champion. The postseason began the next day with the Division Series. The 2009 World Series began on October 28, and ended on November 4, with the New York Yankees defeating the Philadelphia Phillies in six games. This was the second time the season was completed in November. The only other occasion was the 2001 World Series, that because of the delaying of the end of that season because of the September 11 attacks as November baseball would be guaranteed when Game 4 was played on Sunday, November 1. Had the 2009 World Series gone the full seven games, Game 7 would've been played on November 5, the latest date ever scheduled for a World Series game. American League champion had home field advantage for the World Series by virtue of winning the All-Star Game on July 14 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, 4–3. In addition, the annual Civil Rights Game became a regular season game, and was played June 20 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio, when the host Cincinnati Reds lost to the Chicago White Sox in an interleague game, 10–8. Both teams wore replicas of their 1965 uniforms in the contest.
42 is a 2013 American biographical sports film written and directed by Brian Helgeland about the racial integration of American professional baseball by player Jackie Robinson, who wore jersey number 42 through his Major League career. The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson, and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey, with Alan Tudyk, Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni, André Holland, Lucas Black, Hamish Linklater, and Ryan Merriman appearing in supporting roles.
Historic Dodgertown is a multi-sport facility in Vero Beach, Florida where athletes of all ages and skill levels have the opportunity to train, play, and stay together. The facility which includes the historic Holman Stadium was originally created as a Navy housing base, and was transformed into the home of Spring Training for the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team. It has since evolved into a multi-sport destination that includes an option of room and board via their on-site villas.