A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson
At a time when his words resonate more than ever, Major League Baseball, its Clubs and the Jackie Robinson Foundation will together commemorate Jackie Robinson Day on Wednesday, April 15th, a celebration of the life of the Hall of Famer whose legacy and impact extended far beyond baseball and is still felt today.
All Jackie Robinson Day activities will be virtual in nature, centering on social media and online platforms to underscore the importance of staying safe and healthy at home. Designed to engage and educate fans about Robinson’s enduring legacy, efforts will incorporate MLB partners, MLB Clubs, Major League players, and youth baseball & softball players. These will range from educational programs with the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Jackie-inspired social media content, archived footage, special broadcasts on MLB Network, and a celebrity DJ set. Information on the educational resources, special Jackie Robinson Day content, a schedule of the day’s events, and more can be found on MLB.com/42.
MLB Clubs will host a series of activities, including digital roundtables with current & former Major Leaguers (e.g. Tim Anderson, Dee Gordon, Lewis Brinson, Charles Johnson, Cliff Floyd, etc.), community giving initiatives, educational platforms and more.
“JACKIE ROBINSON DAY VIRTUAL LEARNING HUB” FROM JACKIE ROBINSON FOUNDATION
The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) will launch the new “Jackie Robinson Day Virtual Learning Hub,” a platform to deliver educational programming to educators and parents for students in grades K-12, at JRLegacy.org. Divided appropriately by age groups, the programming will address different aspects of Jackie’s life and legacy. The Hub will feature video vignettes of Jackie’s daughter, Sharon, as well as former MLB players (including CC Sabathia and MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds), reading excerpts of her book .Jackie Robinson: American Hero. Additional resources will include conversational prompts for in-home discussion and more.
MLB also will feature virtual and printable education activities aimed at providing kids information on Jackie’s life and legacy at MLB.com/42. Activities include a coloring page, crossword puzzle, connect-the-dots and word search.
JACKIE FOOTAGE & COVERAGE ON MLB.COM AND CLUB SITES
Beginning at 7:00 a.m. ET, MLB.com will live stream 12 hours of Jackie Robinson-related programming:
- 7:00 a.m.: 2012 Jackie Robinson Day (Padres vs. Dodgers) with highlights including a home run by Matt Kemp, a triple play by the Dodgers defense, and a walk-off home run by Dee Gordon.
- 11:00 a.m.: 1955 World Series Film, highlighting the first World Series title in Dodger franchise history and the only championship in Brooklyn. The film also features Jackie’s famous steal of home against the New York Yankees.
- 12:00 p.m.: Letters To Jackie MLB Network special, which focuses on Jackie’s role in the American civil rights movement, primarily after he retired from baseball. The story is told in Jackie’s own words, with letters he wrote throughout his lifetime to his wife, Rachel, his children, pen pals and political figures such as President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
- 1:00 p.m.: April 15, 1997 Game & Ceremony at Shea Stadium (Dodgers vs. Mets) featuring the historic moment when Commissioner Emeritus Allan H. (Bud) Selig retired Jackie’s #42 league-wide alongside Rachel Robinson and President Bill Clinton, marking the 50th anniversary of Jackie breaking Baseball’s color barrier.
- 4:00 p.m.: 2019 Jackie Robinson Day (Mets vs. Phillies) with highlights including Commissioner Manfred and Jamie Foxx participating in the ceremonial first pitch, and Bryce Harper and Robinson Canó.
Additionally, MLB.com and all 30 Clubs sites will have extensive editorial content and coverage highlighting each Club’s special connection with Jackie.
#THECLUBHOUSE WITH DJ ENVY
Baseball fan and award-winning disc jockey DJ Envy (IG: @DJEnvy) will host a special set on Instagram on April 15th, from 7 to 9 p.m. ET, to place an appropriately celebratory cap on Jackie Robinson Day. MLB players and celebrity guests will make special appearances throughout the set.
WALL-TO-WALL SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT
Throughout the day, MLB will feature custom, original Jackie-inspired content across MLB’s social media accounts (MLB, Cut4, PlayBall, MajorLeagueLife, MLBDevelops), including a timeline graphic of Jackie’s life, interactive games for kids, eye-catching graphics, and more. Featured participants will include Major League players, student-athletes of MLB’s diversity-focused youth initiatives (e.g. the Hank Aaron Invitational, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, MLB Youth Academy, Trailblazer Series), and more.
MLB also will stream the 1955 World Series film at 7:00 p.m. ET on MLB YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, as well as Las Mayores Facebook and Twitter.
Fans are invited to celebrate the day and post recorded messages and photos on social media of what Jackie and his legacy mean to them, using the hashtag #Jackie42.
MLB NETWORK COVERAGE
Memorable Jackie Robinson Day games and new episodes of Play Ball and MLB Tonight presented by Camping World will be part of MLB Network’s day-long celebration of Robinson on Wednesday. To complement its programming, MLB Network has produced a new spot dedicated to Robinson, which can be seen here. MLB Network’s programming will begin on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. ET with a New York Yankees victory on Jackie Robinson Day in 2010, which featured a two-home run game from eight-time All-Star Robinson Cano, who was named after Robinson. A special Play Ball episode, which features a new interview with Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. discussing Robinson's legacy will follow at 11:30 a.m. ET. The back-and-forth Pirates at Chicago Cubs game on Jackie Robinson Day in 2017, which featured a combined six home runs and celebrated the 70-year anniversary of Robinson’s Major League debut, will air at 12:00 p.m. ET. Former NL MVP Matt Kemp’s standout performance for the Dodgers against the Padres on Jackie Robinson Day in 2012 will conclude the marathon of games at 3:00 p.m. ET. MLB Network’s Fran Charles, Dan Plesac and Harold Reynolds will be part of a special hour-long MLB Tonight presented by Camping World dedicated to Robinson at 6:00 p.m. ET, followed by Ken Burns’ two-part documentary on Robinson at 7:00 p.m. ET.
MOST VALUABLE DIVERSE BUSINESS PARTNER AWARD
MLB and its Clubs will once again recognize and acknowledge diverse companies as recipients of the 14th 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.
ABOUT JACKIE ROBINSON DAY
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.