As has been tradition each April 15th since 2004, MLB and Clubs will commemorate Jackie Robinson Day at ballparks throughout the league with an added special element of on-field tributes for the centennial celebration of Robinson’s birth. MLB is commemorating this centennial anniversary throughout 2019 with the League and Clubs complementing efforts led by the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
JACKIE ROBINSON DAY & NUMBER ‘42’
Once again in 2019, all players, managers, coaches, umpires and other on-field personnel will wear Robinson’s iconic Number ‘42’ to honor the anniversary of Robinson’s historic debut and to continue the unified, League-wide recognition of Jackie Robinson Day. Since 2004, every April 15 has been designated Jackie Robinson Day throughout Major League Baseball to honor the enduring impact of Jackie Robinson’s legacy on Baseball and American society. Home clubs that are off on Monday, April 15th will commemorate the occasion, including wearing ‘42’ and on-field ceremonies, on Tuesday, April 16th.
Additionally, a commemorative sleeve patch will be added to uniforms in 2019 with a matching insignia on all on-field New Era caps. Players, managers and coaches will also have the option to wear a “Jackie Robinson 100” t-shirt during batting practice as well as Stance socks with an emblazoned “42” logo. The Jackie Robinson Day logo will be included on base jewels and official dugout lineup cards.
NOTE: MLB will donate all licensed royalties from the sales of such items to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Additional elements include home clubs hosting pregame ceremonies, special coverage via MLB Network, MLB.com, social media and more.
JACKIE ROBINSON DAY CLUB & BALLPARK ACTIVITY
Clubs playing at home on Monday, April 15th or Tuesday, April 16th will commemorate Jackie Robinson Day with special on-field, pregame ceremonies in their ballparks, some of which will include Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars, as well as activities in their respective communities.
Jackie’s wife, Rachel Robinson, who is the Founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and their daughter and son, Sharon and David Robinson, will attend Jackie Robinson Day ceremonies at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
*PLEASE SEE SEPARATE ATTACHMENT FOR ADDITIONAL CLUB EXAMPLES OF JACKIE ROBINSON DAY ACTIVATION*
ADDITIONAL MLB ACTIVITY
MLB will host the third annual ‘Trailblazer Series’ at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, Calif. during the weekend prior to Jackie Robinson Day. Approximately 100 girls, ages 13 and under, representing 21 states across the country as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Canada will participate in the three-day tournament held from Thursday, April 11th through Saturday, April 13th. Some of the nation’s top female baseball coaches and players – including representatives from USA Baseball’s Women’s National Team – will instruct the participants, who will be grouped into divisions based on levels of experience.
MLB and Scholastic will announce all 10 winners of the Breaking Barriers: In Sport, In Life essay contest, which honors the legacy of Robinson. The contest recognizes five students each from two groups (Grades 4-6 and Grades 7-9) who have overcome barriers in their own lives using the values-based example set forth by Jackie Robinson. The Grand Prize winner from each of the two categories will win a trip to the 2019 MLB All-Star Game (Grades 4-6) and World Series (Grades 7-9), respectively. Additionally, in the spirit of the centennial celebration, 100 teachers will receive $100 gift cards for answering the Scholastic Breaking Barriers assessment tool survey, courtesy of the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation
JACKIE ROBINSON FOUNDATION
On April 14th in Los Angeles, JRF will present program previews of the future Jackie Robinson Museum.
For 45 years, the Jackie Robinson Foundation has continued Robinson’s commitment to equal opportunity by addressing the achievement gap in higher education, providing generous scholarship grants and comprehensive support services to minority students attending colleges throughout the country. Expanding its mission of education and Robinson’s rich legacy, the Foundation will open the Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City in December 2019 to chronicle Robinson’s storied athletic career and his long-lasting impact across society. For more information, visit www.jackierobinson.org.
In December 2018, MLB and Clubs raised funds through the 2018 Winter Meetings Charity Auction to benefit the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars program for a student pursuing an undergraduate degree in sports administration/management.
In 2016, MLB increased its financial commitment to the Jackie Robinson Foundation and expanded their programmatic partnership. MLB greatly enhanced its longstanding philanthropic support by funding 30 four-year JRF scholarships – one for each of the 30 MLB Clubs and by contributing $1 million to the Foundation’s Jackie Robinson Museum project. Major League Baseball and its Clubs are among the largest donors to the Foundation, having directly supported more than 150 JRF Scholars.
Historically, Major League Baseball and its Clubs have contributed nearly $20 million to the Jackie Robinson Foundation for its scholarship program and the Jackie Robinson Museum. Please visit www.JackieRobinson.org for more about the Jackie Robinson Centennial Celebration.
MOST VALUABLE DIVERSE BUSINESS PARTNER AWARD
MLB and its Clubs will once again recognize and acknowledge diverse companies as recipients of the 13th Annual Jackie Robinson Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner Award, “MVDBP”. The Award recognizes the sport’s Diverse Business Partners (diverse-owned businesses) who exhibit and continue the legacy of Jackie Robinson. Diverse suppliers were nominated and awarded based on their performances that went above and beyond the norm to exhibit quality, class and professionalism in all aspects of their business. This year MVDBP Awards were given by the Office of the Commissioner (awarding three suppliers) and 12 MLB Clubs, including the Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros (awarding two suppliers), Los Angeles Dodgers (awarding two suppliers), Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals.
MLB NETWORK, MLB.COM & @MLB
MLB Network & MLB.com will have complete coverage of the day’s events from each Major League ballpark with video highlights, interviews, stories from its Club beat and national reporters and photographs. Leading up to April 15th, MLB Network will look back at the legacy of Jackie Robinson on “MLB Tonight,” and on its kids-focused show “Play Ball” on Saturday, April 13th at 10:00 a.m. ET. Additionally, Jackie Robinson Day events will be supported across MLB At Bat app, Cut4, and through official MLB and Club social media accounts on platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. Jackie Robinson Day will be supported across social media with the official hashtag - #Jackie42.
JACKIE ROBINSON DAY BACKGROUND
Robinson played his first Major League game at Ebbets Field on April 15, 1947 as a first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Major League Baseball has celebrated Jackie Robinson’s legacy in an extensive and unified League-wide show of support over the years, including retiring his number throughout the Majors in 1997, dedicating April 15th as Jackie Robinson Day each year since 2004, and requesting that every player and all on-field personnel wear his Number 42 during games scheduled on Jackie Robinson Day since 2009. Major League Baseball aims to educate all fans about Jackie Robinson, his life’s accomplishments and his legacy. For more information, please visit MLBCommunity.org.