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Rickey's great-granddaughter part of Jackie celebration

Jakle honored to perform 'God Bless America' at Dodger Stadium on Robinson Day

Kelley Jakle, the great-granddaughter of Branch Rickey, sang "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch Monday at Dodger Stadium, capping a night of celebration in honor of Jackie Robinson Day.

Along with the fans in attendance Monday, Jakle's performance came in front of Jackie's widow, Rachel Robinson, and his daughter, Sharon, as well as actor Harrison Ford, who portrays Rickey in the recently released film "42."

Jakle, herself an actress, appears in the film as well, playing the role of Alice. The young actress also appeared in the hit movie "Pitch Perfect" and made an appearance on the Comedy Central television series "Workaholics."

"Truly an honor to sing on such an important day," Jakle tweeted after her performance.

Ford had thrown out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game following an on-field ceremony that included both Rachel and Sharon, as well as Dodgers part-owner Magic Johnson and Robinson's former teammate, Don Newcombe.

"Thank you, Mr. Ford, for playing my Great Grandfather with such talent, respect, and grace," she also tweeted, accompanied by an on-field picture taken of her and Ford.

Rickey, a Hall of Fame executive, infamously helped break Major League Baseball's color barrier by signing Robinson in 1945. Throughout his 40 seasons as a general manager, Rickey also helped develop the framework for the current Minor League farm system during his time with the Cardinals and opened the first full-time Spring Training camp in Vero Beach, Fla., with the Dodgers.

Paul Casella is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.
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