MLB Network pays tribute to Jackie this weekend

April 12th, 2020

The most important date in baseball history is April 15, 1947, when Jackie Robinson debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers and ended segregation in Major League Baseball.

The anniversary of that historic moment is coming up next week, but the celebration will begin this weekend. MLB Network has a full lineup of programming honoring baseball's most distinguished alum, beginning Saturday morning with an episode of the kid-focused program "Play Ball" that spotlights a conversation with Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr., discussing Robinson's legacy.

A full rundown of Jackie Robinson Weekend is as follows:


The Jackie Robinson Story (Airs: 11:30 a.m. ET)

All-Time Games from various Jackie Robinson Days on April 15

Pirates at Cubs, 2017: The 70th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson Day. The Pirates were behind early, but they staged a thrilling comeback win that included a five-run seventh inning. Airs: 1 p.m. ET.

Giants at Dodgers, 2009: Who doesn't like a good old-fashioned walk-off walk? Giants closer Brian Wilson inherited a bases-loaded situation with no outs and walked James Loney to force home the winning run in the Dodgers' 5-4 win at Dodger Stadium. Airs: 4 p.m. ET.

Angels at Yankees, 2010: How poetic is it that a player named after Jackie Robinson absolutely rakes on Jackie Robinson Day? In this game, Robinson Canó -- yes, that's why his name is Robinson -- hit two home runs, recorded three RBIs on the day and led the Yankees to a 6-2 win. Airs: 8 p.m. ET.

Letters from Jackie

"Letters from Jackie" focuses on Robinson's role in the American civil rights movement, predominantly after he retired from baseball. Hosted by Curtis Granderson and narrated by actor Dennis Haysbert, the story is told in Robinson's own words, through correspondence he maintained during his lifetime with political figures, including Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy, and a young pen pal named Ron Rabinovitz, with whom Robinson kept in touch from 1955 to his death in '72. Airs: 7 p.m. ET.

The celebration will resume on Wednesday, the anniversary of Robinson's debut. MLB Network has a full slate of programming planned to commemorate the important date. They'll re-air the "Play Ball" episodes highlighting Jackie's career, as well as several All-Time games they first aired during Jackie Robinson weekend.

Saturday: Play Ball

Jackie Robinson Episode One

Griffey sits down with MLB Network analyst and former Seattle Mariners All-Star Harold Reynolds to discuss the legacy of Jackie Robinson in an all new episode of MLB Network's "Play Ball." Robinson's place in American sports history is documented throughout the program, plus former Seattle Mariners All-Star Robinson Canó - who is named after the icon - discusses the impact Robinson has made on generations of African-American players. Airs: 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. ET.

Jackie Robinson Episode Two

A countdown style "Play Ball" program looking back at some of the top moments from previous Jackie Robinson Days in Major League Baseball. Airs: 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET.

All-Time Games from various Jackie Robinson Days on April 15

Dodgers at Mets, 1997: This game marked the 50th anniversary of Robinson's Major League debut. On an on-field ceremony at Shea Stadium after the fifth inning, Commissioner Bud Selig, standing with Robinson's widow, Rachel, and President Bill Clinton, announced Robinson's No. 42 would be retired. Current players who wore it would be permitted to continue to do so, but the number would never again be issued to a new player. Airs: 1 p.m. and 11 p.m. ET.

White Sox at Indians, 2007: In this game, CC Sabathia struck out 10 in eight overpowering innings, and the Indians won, 2-1, despite recording just one hit. Airs: 4 p.m. ET.

The Jackie Robinson Story

A colorized version of the 1950 film "The Jackie Robinson Story" traces Robinson's career from the Negro Leagues to the Major Leagues as he becomes the first African-American MLB player in the 20th century. Robinson portrays himself in the film. Airs: 6 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. ET.