Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
The Official Site of the Philadelphia Phillies
news

Phillies News

Jamie Foxx: Jackie leaves legacy of courage

@ToddZolecki
April 15, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- The red pinstriped jersey and red Phillies cap suited Jamie Foxx on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park. Foxx is a baseball fan and he grew up playing the game. He knows the history, too. The Oscar and Grammy winner participated in a Jackie Robinson documentary a few

PHILADELPHIA -- The red pinstriped jersey and red Phillies cap suited Jamie Foxx on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Foxx is a baseball fan and he grew up playing the game. He knows the history, too.

The Oscar and Grammy winner participated in a Jackie Robinson documentary a few years ago. Robinson’s story has stuck with Foxx since. It is why he visited Citizens Bank Park on Monday to participate in a pregame ceremony that celebrated the 100th anniversary of Robinson’s birth. Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, Phillies left fielder Andrew McCutchen and others joined Foxx in the pregame festivities.

“I guess you think about the courage,” Foxx said. “It’s like, at that time, there was a real threat. There was a real danger because there were laws on the books about African American people, even drinking out of a fountain or swimming in a pool. You’re talking about America’s pastime. That’s the most American thing in the world. So the amount of courage that he had to have -- from both sides. Some black folk were like, ‘Why are you doing it? You’re doing that to be like them.’ And then, of course, just like I said, by law you couldn’t do certain things. That’s what you tap into.

“So for anybody -- whether you’re black, white, whatever -- you tap into his courage and let that fuel you. That’s why it was just so important to be a part of that [documentary].”

The Phillies and Mets both wore jerseys with No. 42 on the back in Monday night’s series opener. The jerseys also sported a commemorative sleeve patch and a matching insignia on caps. The Jackie Robinson Day logo was included on the base jewels and the official lineup cards.

Foxx threw out a ceremonial first pitch along with 2019 RBI Phillies Charities grant winner Brandon Gibbs, who will attend Delaware State in the fall. Three members of the Tuskegee Airmen were honored.

Foxx hopes the day is a way to keep Robinson’s legacy alive.

“It’s energizing the African American player, because the percentages have gone down,” Foxx said. “How can we energize it? How can we put more light on it? Imagine there’s a kid in whatever city that’s African American and he’s wanting to be an athlete and he exchanges a basketball for a baseball bat and sees where it goes. It’s not like we’re starting some type of revolution, but we just want to keep it alive.”

Todd Zolecki has covered the Phillies since 2003, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook .