Have you seen this new Budweiser ads? Earlier this week, Budweiser released “Rise” to honor Jackie Robinson during the year-long celebration of Robinson’s 100th birthday:
“Impact” premiered Opening Day, also honoring Robinson’s legacy:
Happy Friday! Happy baseball season!
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the day Jackie Robinson was born. To mark the occasion, MLB announced on Monday that it will celebrate Robinson throughout the 2019 season. In fact, not only MLB, but the entire nation will honor Robinson, demonstrating the lasting impact on and importance to society of Robinson’s legacy.
This morning, representatives from MLB and the Jackie Robinson Foundation will join Rachel and Sharon Robinson (Jackie’s wife and daughter) in visits to three New York City schools: Jackie Robinson School, P.S. 15, in Queens; Jackie Robinson School, P.S. 375, in Brooklyn; and P.S. 42 in Manhattan. Later in the morning, the Brooklyn Borough president will award the “Key to Brooklyn” to Jackie posthumously. At noon, Sharon Robinson will participate in Facebook Live Event with Scholastic, Inc., regarding the benefits of the “Breaking Barriers: In Sport, In Life” program. In the evening, Baseball Commission Rob Manfred will join Rachel and Sharon Jackson and the president of the Jackie Robinson Foundation at the opening of the “In the Dugout with Jackie Robinson” exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York.
At 7:30 p.m. tonight in California, the South Pasadena Public Library is hosting a free screening of “The Jackie Robinson Story,” the 1950 film starring Jackie Robinson as himself. Also tonight, the Los Angeles Dodgers are hosting 300 children at Dodger Stadium for a variety of activities, including singing of Happy Birthday at the Jackie Robinson statute. At 6 p.m. in Tallahassee, FL, Jackie Robinson will be honored with an event titled, “From Victim to Victor: Jackie Robinson at 100, The Cultural Impact of Jackie Robinson’s Groundbreaking Career.” The event will be held at the Planetarium at the Challenger Learning Center. Panelists will discuss the impact of Robinson on American history and will feature Robinson’s cousin, Dr. Linda Walden.
Other events will be held throughout the year by the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and others:
- February 1-15 – UCLA’s he Powell Library will have an exhibit on Robinson’s time on campus, titled, “Jackie Robinson and UCLA, 1939–1941”
- February 5 – UCLA will host a panel discussion on athletes, social justice and activism, and the legacy of Jackie Robinson and then the Jackie Robinson 100th Birthday Celebration Concert will take place in UCLA’s Royce Hall. Featured performers will include Bernie Williams, Arturo Sandoval, and Dave Koz.
- February 6 – UCLA Athletics will honor Robinson and his family during the men’s basketball game at 6 p.m. The first 10,000 attendees will receive a Jackie Robinson poster.
- February 7 – A Play Ball event will be held at the Kansas City Royals MLB Urban Youth Academy. Similar Play Ball events will be held in Montreal in March and Pasadena in September.
- February 10 and February 17 – the play, “Jackie & Me” will be shown at the Main Street Theater in Houston, TX
- February 23 – The Yogi Berra Museum will have an event titled, “Yogi & Jackie: A Friendship for the Ages” from 3 to 5 p.m.
- February 25 – The Negro Leagues Museum will host a lecture by Dr. Arnold Rampersad on “Jacke Robinson, American”
- March 20 – the Museum of the City of New York will hold an event titled, “Athletes to Activists: A Conversation with Howard Bryant of ESPN and Olympian/Activist John Carlos”
- April 11 – Jackie Robinson Museum Program Preview in New York
- April 14 – Jackie Robinson Museum Program Preview in Los Angeles
- April 15 – Jackie Robinson Day across Major League Baseball; on-field tributes will be held at MLB ballparks throughout the country
- May 14 – the Museum of the City of New York will host a panel discussion on “Jackie Robinson: The Personal and the Political”
- July 4 -August 11 – Jackie Robinson Museum Traveling Exhibit National Tour; the tour includes stops include stops in Cleveland, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, and Miami
- December 2019 – Opening of the Jackie Robinson Museum at 75 Varick Street in New York
Enjoy the celebration and honor Jackie’s legacy!
Since we will be celebrating Jackie Robinson’s 100th birthday this week, I thought I’d start the week off with The Baseball Project:
Jackie Robinson and his son at the March on Washington in 1963 (photo courtesy of the National Archives)
For Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, I thought I’d post one of the many King quotes that used Jackie Robinson as an example. On September 23, 1959, in Jackson, Mississippi, King spoke to the Southern Christian Ministers Conference of Mississippi about the accomplishments of African Americans and the important contributions people can make to society, even when faced with oppression:
“… we too can make creative contributions, even though the door of freedom is not fully opened. We need not wait until oppression ceases before we seek to make creative contribution to our nation’s life. We must seek to rise above the crippling restrictions of circumstance. Already we have a host of Negroes whose inspiring achievements have proven that human nature cannot be catalogued, and that we need not postpone the moment of our creativity until the day of full emancipation. … There was a star in the athletic sky; then came Joe Louis with his educated fist, Jessie Owens with his fleet and dashing feet, and Jackie Robinson with his calm spirit and powerful bat. There are many others.”
Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King, Jr., 1957 (photo courtesy of Flickr)
It’s that time of year when students get ready to graduate and move on to the next phase of their lives. At colleges and universities, it has become customary to award honorary degrees to individuals who have made great contributions to a particular field or to society as a whole.
In 1957, both Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King, Jr., were awarded honorary degrees from Howard University. Robinson also earned honorary degrees from the University of Maryland, Bethune-Cookman University, Franklin Pierce College, Sacred Heart University, and Pace University.
Since Sunday was Jackie Robinson Day, I did not identify a “Best of the Week” for last week – but better late than never! On Sunday, the Washington Nationals celebrated Jackie Robinson Day and Black Heritage Day. Throwing out the first pitch was another civil rights icon, Congressman John Lewis. The celebration was definitely the best of the week!
Yesterday, for Jackie Robinson Day, Congressman John Lewis threw out the first pitch at Nats Park. Prior to the game he was interviewed by MASN and asked to comment on Jackie Robinson’s contributions: