D-backs honor Jackie: 'He was amazing'

August 29th, 2020

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo has always felt a connection with Jackie Robinson, given the fact that they both played baseball at UCLA.

“His wife [Rachel] would come to a lot of baseball games that I was participating in while at UCLA, so I've always had an incredible attachment to the Robinson family,” Lovullo said. “And then you throw in the fact that he was the first Black player in Major League Baseball and everything that he stood up for and the courage that he showed, he was amazing.

"And our game would not be what it is today without his sacrifice and his commitment to be the first player to step up and say, ‘I got this.’ And I'm so proud of this day. I'm so proud to say that because of all the things that it represents to so many other people of any nationality, or of any color.”

The D-backs honored Robinson in many ways Friday night for their Jackie Robinson Day game against the Giants at Chase Field:

• There was a conversation with Robinson’s daughter, Sharon, during the team’s FOX Sports Arizona pregame show.

• The team hosted an essay contest for diverse students of all backgrounds (grades 4-10) to share their personal stories about how they faced their own barriers, and those winners were honored virtually during pregame ceremonies.

• The team also honored Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar Tagwa Salih during pregame ceremonies.

• Behind home plate, the team featured cardboard cutouts of Little Leaguers who play at Jackie Robinson Field in Litchfield Park, Ariz., which was renovated and dedicated by the D-backs in 2019.

• Isaiah Lewis performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing” prior to the national anthem. Lewis is a member of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church. His grandfather and great aunt went to John Muir College with Jackie Robinson and his sister, Jacklyn, is named for the baseball legend.

Major League Baseball chose to celebrate this year's Jackie Robinson Day on Aug. 28 for two reasons. It’s the anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, which the Robinson Family attended, and it also is the date in 1945 when Robinson and Branch Rickey met to discuss his future as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

In conjunction with the celebration, MLB announced a partnership extension with the JRF Scholarship Program, the Jackie Robinson Museum and the annual JRF ROBIE Awards. The extension is through 2023 and includes a $3.5 million commitment on behalf of MLB.

Bumgarner to throw sim game
Left-hander Madison Bumgarner, who is on the injured list with a mid-back strain, will throw one final simulated game Saturday before rejoining the rotation.

With Bumgarner not ready to come off the IL just yet, right-hander Taylor Clarke, who made an emergency start when Merrill Kelly was scratched on Monday, will get the ball again Sunday against the Giants.

Game rescheduled
The Rockies-D-backs game that was postponed Thursday afternoon, after the teams elected not to play in the name of social justice, will be made up as part of a seven-inning doubleheader on Sept. 25 at Chase Field, starting at 3:40 p.m. MST.