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.
It was always an intimate and festive occasion around the league. Just because there are no games doesn’t mean MLB will abandon the celebration of one of baseball’s champions and America’s iconic figures.
JACKIE ROBINSON DAY QUARANTINE STYLE
Usually, all of MLB’s ballparks are jam-packed with fans eager to bask in the glory of Robinson’s iconic journey. It was just last year that MLB held a year-long centennial celebration of Jackie’s birth, leading off with the Spike Lee film “Impact‘ and rounding out the lineup with the grand opening of Manhattan’s Jackie Robinson Museum in December.
Today, MLB, its Clubs, and the Jackie Robinson Foundation will commemorate Jackie Robinson Day in a virtual 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.
JRF’S “JACKIE ROBINSON DAY VIRTUAL LEARNING HUB”
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:
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.
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.