In coordination with the Robinson Family, MLB Clubs and various partners, Major League Baseball today announced a host of new and refreshed tributes to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s historic MLB debut on April 15, 1947 as he broke baseball’s color barrier and began to change our society forever.
“Seventy-five years ago, Jackie Robinson took the field under incredibly challenging circumstances and unimaginable pressure. Yet through his courage, character, skill, and values, he brought well-needed change to our game and advanced the Civil Rights Movement in our country,” said Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “During this special anniversary year, it is a top priority for MLB to honor Jackie’s contributions and legacy, recognize the impact Rachel has made through the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and continue to keep Jackie’s memory and values alive for today’s generation of players and fans.”
“Our family is thrilled to see the many wonderful tributes to Jack’s historic moment 75 years ago,” said Rachel Robinson. “We will continue to honor his memory and legacy through our work with the Jackie Robinson Foundation. We are proud to have Major League Baseball and so many others as supporters of the young men and women we impact each year.”
Leading up to and on Jackie Robinson Day – Friday, April 15th – Jackie and his legacy will be honored and celebrated in the following ways:
NEW FOR THE 75th ANNIVERSARY
• EXCLUSIVE, MLB-PRODUCED VIDEO, “PLAY, RUN, WIN, RISE” – MLB has produced an exclusive and powerful video – titled “Play, Run, Win, Rise – written by Eljon Wardally and narrated by actor and singer Leslie Odom Jr. (“Hamilton,” “Many Saints of Newark”). This visual tribute reflects on Jackie’s legacy as a Hall of Fame and trailblazing player, social justice advocate, civil rights icon and pioneer in business and broadcasting. The video also highlights the critical influence Rachel Robinson has had on their family’s legacy, particularly through the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
-- See the powerful video HERE
-- This will appear in all MLB ballparks on Jackie Robinson Day and will run on MLB Network, MLB.com and MLB Social Media.
• 75th ANNIVERSARY LOGO – MLB has created a special logo for this Diamond Anniversary. Jackie’s digital signature sits atop the mark and is a connection to the 50th anniversary patch. This modern design shows an unmistakable illustration of Jackie Robinson and his impending swing in minimal form. The updated technique to this commemorative design takes a digital first approach and presents MLB at the center of the 75 year celebration.
• NUMBER ‘42’ IN DODGER BLUE – As is tradition, players, managers and coaches will once again wear Robinson’s iconic number on April 15th, with all teams for the first time using Dodger blue “42” jersey numbers (regardless of their primary team colors).
-- Additionally, 42 patches with team-specific uniform colors will appear on Nike uniform sleeves and on New Era caps.
• MAYORS TO TIP THEIR CAPS: In association with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, hundreds of Mayors from across the United States and Puerto Rico will participate in a social media campaign to “Tip Their Caps” to Jackie Robinson on April 15th.
• APRIL 15th CELEBRATION IN NEW YORK CITY – On the morning of Friday, April 15th, MLB will honor Jackie at the “Crossroads of the World,” Times Square, with an assortment of public displays. Details will be announced at a later date.
YOUTH BASEBALL & SOFTBALL AND SCOUTING IN DIVERSE COMMUNITIES
• “42 INNINGS FOR 42” – In a unique call-to-action to the youth baseball & softball community, MLB has provided guidelines to have community leagues – including those in MLB & MiLB Club Markets, Little League, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, Pony, Dixie, Ripken and others – to play a total of 42 innings over the weekend of April 15th-17th. Leagues will share content of their games (using #Jackie42) on social media where many will be recognized on @PlayBall (Twitter & IG) and PlayBall.org.
• TRAILBLAZER SERIES – At the Jackie Robinson Training Complex in Vero Beach, Fla. (the former Spring Training site of the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers), MLB and USA Baseball are hosting the 2022 Trailblazer Series. This annual youth baseball experience for young women, ages 13 and under from across the country, is a three-day event serving as both instructional and developmental. The event is always held in conjunction with Jackie Robinson Day.
• ID TOUR – Beginning on April 9th, MLB will begin a 12-city tour to identify African-American and Latino baseball talent (in grades 8-10) within underserved communities across the country. The goal is to discover the best athletes, whether they are playing baseball or not, to invite them to future baseball development programs, such as the Breakthrough Series, DREAM Series or Hank Aaron Invitational, many of which will be held at the Jackie Robinson Training Complex.
JRF SCHOLARS AT MLB BALLPARKS
• JRF SCHOLARS – MLB and the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) have continued their longstanding partnership, primarily to provide students from under-represented communities with college scholarships. Many of these JRF Scholars and JRF alumni will be recognized by Clubs and MLB.com.
-- In 2020, MLB expanded its philanthropic partnership with the Jackie Robinson Foundation to include a greater investment in the JRF scholarship program and greater coordination on MLB/Club internship, full-time job opportunities, and exposure to MLB careers. MLB has also set aside summer internship slots specifically for JRF Scholars. The $3.5 million commitment to JRF also includes support for the Jackie Robinson Museum. Historically, MLB and its Clubs have contributed approximately $20 million to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, including supporting college scholarships for more than 150 JRF scholars.
MULTIMEDIA & BROADCAST
• MLB NETWORK
-- New vignettes on Robinson’s influence on baseball and society continue to be produced every day by MLB Network, which you can watch here. Sports icons, including the late Henry Aaron, Ken Griffey Jr., the late Tony Gwynn, Bill Russell and Vin Scully all speak to Robinson’s impact throughout the series.
-- In new interviews, President Bill Clinton, Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig and former All-Star and two-star athlete Bo Jackson will discuss Jackie Robinson’s profound legacy on baseball and society in an MLB Network feature premiering on Friday, April 15th, and hosted by Emmy Award-winning broadcaster Harold Reynolds. Clinton and Selig specifically will relive the night MLB retired Robinson’s number 42 in 1997, marking the first uniform number to be retired across the sport, 25 years ago.
• MLB.com – MLB.com and all 30 club sites will have extensive editorial content and coverage highlighting each team's special connection with Jackie, as well as special features that explore his impact as a baseball pioneer and his influence over today's players.
• SOCIAL MEDIA – MLB Social Media platforms in both English and Spanish will demonstrate the many ways Jackie inspired baseball and society – not just as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, but most importantly, his character and what he represented before, during and after his career. Highlights include custom illustrations, collages, classic Jackie Robinson highlights and infographics.
MLB CLUB & PARTNER ACTIVATIONS
• MLB CLUBS – Click here for Club Activations (with more to be announced leading up to April 15th)
• JACKIE ROBINSON CHALLENGE BY EVERFI – As a part of the MLB Summer Slugger Program, Clubs can customize a “Jackie Robinson Challenge” that students can complete as a supplement to the 72-game course. MLB is also challenging our younger students to visit MLB.com/42 and become more familiar with Jackie’s life and legacy through printable education activities.
• CAPITAL ONE – Capital One, the Official Bank and Credit Card Partner, is supporting the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) by donating $1,000 to JRF for each “Capital One Walk-Off” (game-winning play) this year, committing to a minimum total donation of $250,000 for the season.
• On Jackie Robinson Day all players in select modes of MLB The Show will have their numbers changed to reflect #42 to mirror the real life on-field activation.
• MLB The Show / Sony is making a unique Jackie Robinson content pack available to all players for $5, with all net proceeds going to JRF.
• Unique, limited-time content will be included in the game to recognize and celebrate Jackie Robinson’s impact on and off the field.
• Sony is donating $1 from every copy of certain versions of MLB The Show to JRF.
JACKIE’S BIRTH MARKER IN CAIRO, GA
• In January, the Georgia Historical Society, in conjunction with Major League Baseball and the Jackie Robinson Cairo Memorial Institute, Inc., dedicated the Birthplace of Jackie Robinson historical marker at the Roddenbery Memorial Library in Cairo, Georgia. This historical marker replaced one located at Jackie Robinson’s birthplace damaged by gunfire in 2021. MLB, through MLB Charities, funded the replacement of the vandalized marker by making the inaugural donation to the Jackie Robinson Fund, an endowment to provide perpetual care and protection for the historical marker.
IMPORTANT WEBSITES TO KNOW
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, while also spearheading initiatives that support communities and meaningfully address diversity and inclusion at all levels of our sport. For more information, please visit MLBCommunity.org.