MLB’s Going All Out For Jackie Robinson’s Centennial

Jackie Robinson would have turned 100 today and MLB will be celebrating his incomparable legacy all year with various diversity initiatives. 

Jackie Robinson, a sharecropper’s son who elevated an entire race and country when he broke baseball’s color barrier in 1947, would have turned 100 years old today.

To commemorate the centennial celebration, MLB has joined with Jackie Robinson Foundation for a year-long schedule of events to honor his legacy in baseball and throughout society. 


Commemorative activities will begin today, January 31st and culminate at the grand opening of the Jackie Robinson Museum in December of 2019.

It’s a shame that he’s not here to share his tales of tragedy and triumph and personally detail the physical, mental and emotional roller coaster that he endured while becoming the first African-American to play Major League Baseball. 

We throw the term true warrior around way too often, but it firmly applies in the case of Jackie Roosevelt Robinson, a phenomenal athlete, businessman, social activist and advocate for the African-American community.

His bravery sparked the Civil Rights movement in America and brought it to the mainstream.  


The enormity of his burden, the racism, degradation and daily struggles he endured to slowly break down a culture of racism among MLB players is unprecedented.

After 10 Hall of Fame seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Robinson dedicated his post-career life to the civil rights struggles of people of color across the globe. This combination of superhero tasks undoubtedly contributed to his early death at the age of 53.

The impact of his half century of living, however, remains acknowledged and strong. It can be seen in the efforts made by MLB to keep diversity on the field and in the executive offices a priority.

During the year-long celebration of Jackie’s Centennial, MLB activities will include youth-Oriented PLAY BALL events in cities connected to his history, unique integration in MLB video games, and the annual Jackie Robinson Day ceremonies.

Initiatives ranging from youth engagement activities to comprehensive support of his foundation’s scholarship and education programs and the soon to be unveiled museum, will be among the many efforts initiated by Major League Baseball and its clubs, which have celebrated Jackie Robinson Day in ballparks every April 15th since 2004.


Today, New York City public school kids are in for a treat. MLB joins the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Jackie’s wife Rachel Robinson and their daughter Sharon Robinson, in visiting three schools for a special program and presentation on the future Jackie Robinson Museum.

The schools include Jackie Robinson School, P.S. 15, Queens; Jackie Robinson School P.S. 375, Brooklyn; and P.S. 42, Manhattan.

After that visit, the Robinson’s will be at the Brooklyn Borough Hall Rotunda, where Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams will posthumously confer the “Key to Brooklyn”.

The Key will be presented to the Robinson family, and students from Jackie Robinson Schools in Queens and Brooklyn, respectively, will attend the ceremony.


Sharon Robinson will also be participating in a Facebook Live Event with Scholastic, Inc., during which she will discuss the educational and character development benefits of the Breaking Barriers: In Sport, In Life program (a joint effort between MLB, Sharon and Scholastic).

Parents, students, teachers and the general public can view the Facebook Live event at

The night continues with Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. joining Rachel and Sharon as well as Jackie Robinson Foundation President Della Britton Baeza at the Opening Reception of the “In the Dugout with Jackie Robinson Exhibit” at the Museum of the City of New York.

The exhibit will remain open through May 31st, during which time, several panel and fireside discussions will be held to cover topics focusing on social issues, activism and more on Jackie’s history.

The enriching day ends with  MLB Network airing Ken Burns’ biographical documentary. The film illuminates Robinson’s place as a leader and icon of the civil rights movement whose exemplary life and aspirational message of equality continues to inspire generations of Americans.

Throughout the day, all MLB Network studio programming will honor Robinson’s legacy with features on his life before, during and after his Hall of Fame career, including interviews with the Robinson family, Hall of Famer Hank Aaron, Robinson’s former Dodgers teammate Don Newcombe, Hall of Fame inductee Harold Baines, 2006 NL MVP Ryan Howard, and current Major Leaguers Curtis Granderson and CC Sabathia.

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