The Dodgers and the rest of Major League Baseball will be celebrating Jackie Robinson Day a little bit later this year. With the delay of the season, the on-field celebration is being held this Friday, August 28th. That date is special because it marks a very important day in the Jackie’s career with the team.
Here is the press release from the Dodgers on the many ways they will be honoring Jackie with online activities leading up to Friday:
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Dodgers Foundation (LADF) will celebrate Jackie Robinson’s life and legacy with online programs this week leading up to Major League Baseball’s on-field observance of Jackie Robinson Day on Friday. August 28 marks the date in 1945 when Jackie Robinson first met with Dodger President Branch Rickey in his Brooklyn office, as Rickey sought to sign the Majors’ first Black player.
The Dodgers will play at Texas on Friday, but will celebrate Jackie Robinson and his lasting impact on society with virtual activations throughout the week:
Tuesday: LADF will host a conversation with Dodger First Base Coach George Lombard at 10:00 a.m., moderated by Marti Reed from the Positive Coaching Alliance. Lombard will share his story – from his family history of Civil Rights activism to his unique path through college and the Majors. Jackie Robinson Foundation/Dodgers Foundation Scholars will participate in the conversation.
Wednesday: The Dodgers will host a virtual panel at 2:00 p.m. for students attending Historically Black Colleges and Universities to illustrate the different career paths available within the sport of baseball. Naomi Rodriguez, Dodger Vice President of Community Relations and External Affairs will open the event with a welcome and overview of Jackie Robinson’s legacy for the student attendees at Hampton University, Howard University, Morehouse College, North Carolina A&T State University and Spelman College. The event panelists include Nichol Whiteman, CEO Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (Spelman College alumna), Melanie LeGrande, Vice President of Social Responsibility – Major League Baseball (Morgan State University alumna), David Hill, Sr. Analyst, Dodgers Baseball Performance Science (Morehouse College alumnus), Albert Gilbert, Coordinator, Dodgers Baseball Operations (Stanford University/Harvard Law School alumnus) and Tahlor Cleveland, Dodgers Coordinator, Planning & Development (UC San Diego alumna).
Fans are invited to view on Dodgers’ Facebook Live, and media interested in joining can email the Dodgers’ PR department for login credentials.
Thursday: LADF will continue its Virtual Coaches Training Series presented by Nike at 5:00 p.m. with former Dodger Chase Utley as the guest speaker. In addition to sharing his thoughts on coaching young athletes, Utley will reflect on Robinson’s legacy and their shared path from UCLA to the Dodgers. The training will also feature Megan Bartlett, Founder of We Coach, which offers coaches important resources in the areas of sports-based youth development, trauma-informed sport, and girls in sport. Coaches and parents from LADF’s sports-based youth development program, Dodgers RBI, will participate, along with Dodgers RBI program partners, local school districts and other youth development professionals.
Friday: The Dodgers will take on the Rangers in Texas, as Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day at ballparks around the country. Jackie Robinson Foundation/Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation Alumni Scholar Johnathan Kidd (UCLA, Class of 2020) will throw a virtual ceremonial first pitch prior to the game.
Rangers and Dodgers players and coaches have collaborated on a video honoring the legacy of Jackie Robinson that will be shown pre-game on the Globe Life Field video boards. DoppelRangers (cutouts) that night will feature Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars and Texas Rangers MLB Youth Academy youngsters.
LADF will also hold a special Jackie Robinson Day Jersey Auction of the Dodgers’ game-used, authenticated jerseys beginning September 10th with proceeds benefitting the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), founded by Bryan Stevenson, a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer, social justice activist and best-selling author of Just Mercy. EJI is committed to ending mass incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial and economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. LADF is matching funds of the Posy Project, a fund created in honor of Posy Lombard, civil rights activist and mother of Dodger Coach George Lombard.