Dodgers to host Robinson's family on Jackie Day
PHOENIX -- The Dodgers, who celebrated Jackie Robinson Day all weekend, will cap it off at Monday night's game against the Padres by hosting Robinson's widow, Rachel Robinson, and her family.
"Jackie's impact on baseball, society and the lives of our children and our children's children is unmatched," said Dodgers partner Magic Johnson. "I'm humbled to celebrate a great Dodger and a better man."
In 1997, under the direction of Commissioner Bud Selig, Robinson's No. 42 was retired across all of Major League Baseball in an unprecedented tribute.
The Dodgers will also pay tribute to Hall of Fame catcher and three-time National League MVP Award winner Roy Campanella and Dodgers special advisor to the chairman, 1956 NL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Don Newcombe pregame.
The 17-member choir of Johnson's church home, West Angeles Church of God In Christ, will sing the national anthem. Kelley Jakle, the great-granddaughter of Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers' general manager who signed Jackie Robinson, will sing "God Bless America." The ceremonial first pitch will be thrown by Harrison Ford, who stars in Warner Bros. Pictures "42" as Rickey. Rachel Robinson will officially start the game with "It's Time for Dodger Baseball!"
The Dodgers also will salute the Tuskegee Airmen during the game Monday night and Warner Bros. Pictures will provide a commemorative statuette of Robinson, Campanella and Newcombe to the first 40,000 attending the game against the Padres.
Dodger Stadium will be decorated with prominently placed 42 logos on the pitching mound, dugout, near the foul pole and baselines. There will also be Jackie Robinson Day jeweled bases and lineup cards and a special tribute video that will be shown in-stadium. The Dodgers' uniformed personnel will all wear number 42.
Monday's Veterans of the Game are two members of the Tuskegee airmen, the first African American military aviators in the U.S. military, Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Lumpkin of Los Angeles and Major Levy Thorn Hill of Virginia.
Johnson will host several celebrities and local government dignitaries at a pregame reception and at Monday's game. Additionally, more than 200 Dodgers fans who purchased a special $42 ticket will attend a Loge Terrace reception with Dodgers alumni Dennis Powell, Derrel Thomas, Kenny Landreaux, "Sweet Lou" Johnson and Al Downing. Johnson will also visit with these fans.
Prior to Monday's game, former Dodger Tommy Davis, Matt Kemp and Sharon Robinson will visit Washington Middle School in Pasadena, Calif., 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 Robinson.