Holidays Around the World for April 15: Jackie Robinson Day

Jackie Robinson Day

ackie Robinson Day is celebrated throughout Major League Baseball (MLB) in honor of Jackie Robinson, the first African American to play professional baseball in the MLB. In the first half of the 20th century, baseball was segregated. Robinson and other African Americans played in the Negro Leagues, but discrimination prevented them from playing in the MLB. On April 15, 1947, Robinson played his fJirst professional game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. In addition to breaking the color barrier, he went on to be named Rookie of the Year and later the National League’s Most Valuable Player. A six-time All-Star, he was elected in 1962 to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

 

To commemorate Robinson’s achievements, activities are planned each year at all MLB stadiums on April 15th, or the date closest to that on which a baseball game is scheduled. Home teams coordinate activities for the tribute, which may include pregame award presentations, special guests throwing the first pitch, prizes for fans in attendance, and appearances by other legendary baseball stars. Jackie Robinson Day has been celebrated each year since 2004, with Robinson’s widow, Rachel, and other family members taking part in the annual ceremonies. To honor Robinson in 2007, many players donned special jerseys emblazoned with the number 42, which was Robinson’s number and which was permanently retired from baseball in 1997 on the 50th anniversary of his first game as a Dodger.

CONTACTS:
Jackie Robinson Day
Major League Baseball
c/o MLB Advanced Media, L.P.
75 Ninth Ave., 5th Fl.
New York, NY 10011
mlb.mlb.com/mlb/events/jrd/index_07.jsp
Jackie Robinson Foundation
One Hudson Sq.
75 Varick St., 2nd Fl.
New York, NY 10013-1917
212-290-8600; fax: 212-290-8081
http://www.jackierobinson.org
SOURCES:
AAH-2007, p. 233
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