MLB honors Jackie Robinson on 75th anniversary of his debut

By Barry Janoff

UPDATED April 14, 2022: Candy Digital, a division of Fanatics and the Official NFT Partner for MLB, and the Jackie Robinson Foundation have released the Jackie Robinson Collection to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Robinson breaking the MLB color barrier.

The first NFT collection (pictured below) developed for Jackie Robinson will feature several NFTs that “honor her for her courage and many contributions to society”, with 100% of net proceeds from sales of the collection in the main market of Candy Digital to be donated by Candy Digital to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

The Players Alliance, a non-profit organization created by active and retired professional baseball players, has unveiled pledges from players, coaches and staff to donate their game day salaries in recognition of Jackie’s 75th birthday. Robinson breaking the color barrier. Donations will help the charity launch new programs across the country.

MLB players Lorenzo Cain, Jason Heyward, Aaron Hicks, Mike Moustakas and David Price are among those who have pledged to donate their full or partial game day salaries.

Additionally, an auction of Jackie Robinson memorabilia has begun through Goldin Auctions, including items used in the game.

UPDATED April 13, 2022: MLB said today that the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers (April 15, 1947) will include baseball legends and celebrations at iconic New York locations.

Among those scheduled to attend the April 15 events are Ken Griffey Jr., Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia, Joe Torre, Willie Randolph and Sonya Pankey (eldest granddaughter of Jackie and Rachel Robinson and MLB consultant).

Activities to honor Robinson’s legacy Include youth activation “Play Ball” in Times Square, Empire State Building Lighting Ceremony (The Empire State Building will shine its famous blue and white tower lights with a rotating “42” displayed that evening) and a street name change at the corner of 42nd Street and Broadway.

April 4, 2022: When MLB commemorates the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier on April 15, all players, managers and field staff will once again wear Robinson’s No. 42, a tradition for more than a decade.

But this year, each number 42 will feature Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers blue, regardless of each team’s primary colors, and a special 75th anniversary crest will appear on each jersey.

These are just two of the many MLB platforms unveiled today as part of its activation to honor Robinson.

MLB retired Robinson’s number 42 throughout the Majors in 1997, dedicated April 15 as Jackie Robinson Day each year in 2004, and since 2009 has required every player and all field personnel to wear his number. 42 in games scheduled on Jackie Robinson Day.

MLB has produced an exclusive tribute video, “Play, Run, Win, Rise”, written by Eljon Wardally and narrated by actor and singer Leslie Odom Jr.

MLB said the video “reflects Jackie’s legacy as a hall of famer and pioneering player, social justice advocate, civil rights icon, and pioneer in business and broadcasting.”

The video also highlights the influence of Robinson’s wife, Rachel Robinson. had on their family’s legacy, including through the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

“Play, Run, Win, Rise” will air at all MLB ballparks on Jackie Robinson Day and will air on MLB Network, and MLB Social Media.

In association with the United States Conference of Mayors, hundreds of mayors across the country and Puerto Rico will participate in a social media campaign to “give a thumbs up” to Jackie Robinson on April 15.

That morning, MLB will honor Robinson in Times Square in New York City, with an assortment of public displays.

Among companies honoring Robinson that are connected to MLB and/or Robinson himself, Nike will release a Jackie Robinson Nike Dunk Low Top Shoe in Brooklyn Blue/Los Angeles Dodgers this month.

It features a 75th anniversary logo on the tongue, a “42” on the heel and insole and text on each shoe of a famous Robinson quote: “I don’t care if you love me or you love me. don’t love me. All I ask is that you respect me as a human being.

In association with the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Chock full o’Nuts coffee has launched three sizes of limited edition Jackie Robinson Chock full o’Nuts coffee cans in stores and online, to be released this month, with a portion of the proceeds of each purchase remitted to the JRF.

When Robinson retired from baseball, William Black, founder of Chock full o’Nuts, signed him as an executive of the New York-based coffee company. where he served as vice president of personnel from 1957 to 1964.

ESPN today launched a special project to honor Robinson’s lasting legacy, “Jackie to Me,” which “will also feature the continued work of Robinson’s wife, Rachel, as she approaches her 100th birthday (19 July).”

The season-long project will initially consist of a news video series of more than ten parts, with one video to be released each day, culminating with the 75th anniversary finale debut on April 15.

The United States Mint recently opened sales for the 2022 black league baseball Commemorative coin program.

The program commemorates the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Black League, with the U.S. Mint producing $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins, and half-dollar plated coins as part of the program.

A silver Jackie Robinson Medal bears the same design as the Jackie Robinson Congressional Gold Medal produced by the Mint in 2003, which “honored Robinson as a great baseball player, civil rights leader and political activist”.

In 1945, Robinson played his only season in black baseball as a shortstop with the Kansas City Monarchs.

Money raised after the cost of making the coins will go to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, located in Kansas City, MO.

Vignettes on Robinson’s influence on baseball and society are produced daily by MLB Network.

Sports icons including the late Henry Aaron, Ken Griffey Jr., the late Tony Gwynn, Bill Russell and Vin Scully all speak of Robinson’s impact throughout the series.

In new interviews, President Bill Clinton, MLB Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig, Spike Lee and former NFL and MLB All-star Bo Jackson will discuss Jackie Robinson’s profound legacy on baseball and society. in an MLB Network feature premiering April 15.

Many MLB teams playing at home on April 15 will have a special activation and tributes to Robinson, led by the Dodgers and New York Mets. and all 30 club sites will have extensive editorial content and coverage highlighting each team’s special connection to Jackie, as well as special features that explore his impact as a baseball pioneer and his influence on players. today.

MLB’s English and Spanish social media platforms will ‘demonstrate the many ways Jackie has inspired baseball and society – not just as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers, but more importantly, his character and what he stood for before. , during and after his career.

Highlights include custom illustrations, collages, classic Jackie Robinson highlights, and infographics.

The special MLB logo created for the Diamond Anniversary includes Robinson’s digital signature and shows an illustration of Robinson at bat.

“Seventy-five years ago, Jackie Robinson took the field under incredibly difficult circumstances and unimaginable pressure,” MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said via the league. “Yet through his courage, character, skill and values, he brought much-needed changes to our game and advanced the civil rights movement in our country.

“During this special anniversary year, MLB’s top priority is to honor Jackie’s contributions and legacy, recognize the impact Rachel has had through the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and continue to bring the memory and values ​​of Jackie for the current 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 via The Jackie Robinson Foundation.

“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 every year.

Jackie Robinson’s 75th Anniversary MLB Debut Gets National Activation

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Neal T. Doss