The Seattle Mariners join Major League Baseball in commemorating the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson during this week’s annual tribute to his life, values and accomplishments both on and off the field.
Mariners players and on field staff wore Robinson’s #42 on their uniforms during the first game of today’s double header in Baltimore against the Orioles, and will wear #42 on Friday, April 16, against the Houston Astros at T-Mobile Park.
During the game on Friday, there will be tributes to Robinson and his legacy as a baseball trailblazer who broke the color barrier on April 15, 1947, and his work as a civil rights activist, as well as presentations and demonstrations of the Mariners commitment to social justice and equity.
Jamal Crawford, 20-year NBA veteran and Rainier Beach High School alum, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Crawford received the Seattle Sports Commission 2021 Paul G. Allen Humanitarian Award for his commitment to his home community.
In addition to wearing #42 on their jerseys and caps, Mariners players wore a special “Breaking Barriers” batting practice t-shirt today, designed by The Players Alliance and approved by Nike. The 42 logo will appear on New Era caps available for sale in Mariners Team Stores. Royalties from the sales of caps will benefit the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner
During a pregame presentation, the Mariners will honor the team’s Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner, John Hwang, founder and CEO of PlanLED, the Federal Way-based firm that installed energy efficient LED lighting at T-Mobile Park. In 2014, T-Mobile Park became the first MLB ballpark to use LED lighting for the playing field. Hwang is being honored for going above and beyond to exhibit quality, class and professionalism in all aspects of PlanLED’s business.
The Mariners have committed to double the team’s commitment to the Diverse Business Partners program, which aims to increase opportunities for minority and women owned businesses. Each year, the Mariners spend millions of dollars through the Mariners procurement process for items ranging from bobbleheads to cleaning supplies. The goal is to double the annual spend with minority owned businesses.
Mariners Commitment to Community
Community Impact Grants
The Mariners have a $1 million grant program to support organizations that promote racial justice and social equity through policy, advocacy and community-based initiatives. The first grant was awarded in February to the Seattle Foundation Fund for Inclusive Recovery, a comprehensive program to address widening inequities in our community that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Two more Community Impact Grants will be announced in May to support physical and mental health and well-being for youth.
Diversity Fellowship Program
The Mariners are partnering with Seattle University to help diversity leadership in sports and entertainment. The Mariners will offer fellowship and job opportunities for candidates enrolled in Seattle U’s new MBA in Sport and Entertainment Management. Positions will be available in such areas as communications, finance, legal, Information Technology and athletic training. The Mariners and Seattle Kraken are founding partners in the program. They are joined in this effort by the Seattle Storm, Seattle Sounders FC, Seattle Seahawks, Oak View Group and Climate Pledge Arena.
UW Medicine Vaccine Partnership
The Seattle Mariners are partnering with University of Washington Medicine to help COVID-19 vaccines reach underserved communities in the region. The Mariners are providing $2 million in funding to support UW Medicine’s community outreach strategies and mobile vaccination efforts that are based primarily at Harborview Medical Center. These programs aim to raise awareness for the safety and importance of the vaccine and make the vaccine easily accessible, particularly in those communities that are historically marginalized by healthcare systems and in which vaccine hesitancy and skepticism have been documented. In addition, Mariners players and alumni, including Edgar Martinez and “Mr. Mariner” Alvin Davis, are participating in a public education campaign to encourage vaccine acceptance.
The On BASE Hometown Nine program aims to create a pipeline of diverse baseball/softball players by removing the financial barrier of the high cost for elite/select teams. The Mariners cover all travel, training, equipment and fees for nine incoming eighth graders and provide mentorship for the students with Mariners players and Front Office staff to assist them with academic, professional and social support to help them succeed on the field and in the classroom. On BASE Hometown Nine is a five-year commitment to each participant through their high school career. The Inaugural Class of Hometown Nine will be joined later this summer when the second cohort is selected. Nominations for the program will open on Juneteenth, Saturday, June 19.