Major League Baseball on Thursday announced the Dodgers will host the Seattle Mariners in the 2015 Civil Rights game on Jackie Robinson day on April 15. As part of the 70th anniversary of Robinson becoming the first African-American to sign a contract to play in the major leagues, a slew of events are scheduled in and around the game.
Here is a quick run down of what is in store:
The 2015 Civil Rights Game on Jackie Robinson Day will be played between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Seattle Mariners at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, April 15th, and will air nationally on ESPN2 and via the WatchESPN app, with coverage scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. PT (10:00 p.m. ET) as part of the network’s Wednesday Night Baseball package.
MLB Beacon Awards
Dodgers owner, entrepreneur and philanthropist Earvin “Magic” Johnson and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta will receive the 2015 MLB Beacon Awards, which recognize individuals whose lives and actions have been emblematic of the spirit of the civil rights movement.
Frank Robinson – Hall of Famer Frank Robinson (MLB Senior Advisor and Honorary American League President) will receive a special award in recognition of the 40th Anniversary of him becoming Baseball’s first African-American manager. Robinson managed his first game for the Cleveland Indians on April 8, 1975.
Youth Baseball Camp
In celebration of the Civil Rights Game and Jackie Robinson Day, Major League Baseball will host a youth baseball clinic, administered by the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation, at the Rancho Cienega Sports Complex on Tuesday, April 14th, at 5 p.m.. Members of the Dodgers RBI program, as well as other local youth baseball leagues, will receive coaching on throwing, pitching, fielding, hitting and other skill-based activities. Dodger Alumni Tommy Davis, Lee Lacy, Mickey Hatcher and Derrel Thomas also will be in attendance.
Jackie Robinson Day – Number ‘42’
This year marks the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson signing his first professional contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers organization in 1945, which was the first step toward his eventual breaking of the color barrier on April 15, 1947. As has been tradition each April 15th since 2009, Major League Baseball will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day with all players and on-field personnel wearing Number ’42’ during that day’s games, including the Civil Rights Game at Dodger Stadium. Throughout the league, the annual celebration to commemorate the anniversary of Robinson breaking Baseball’s color barrier in 1947 will feature on-field, pre-game ceremonies in ballparks throughout the League.
“On behalf of our family and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Major League Baseball for honoring Jack’s historic achievements and his fight for equality both on and off the ball field,” said Rachel Robinson, wife of Jackie Robinson and the founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. “In recognizing Jack’s accomplishments, it is my hope that this commemoration inspires future generations towards impactful service within their own communities and beyond.”
Here is a run down of pregame events leading up to the Civil Rights Game:
Rachel Robinson will play a central role in a first-pitch ceremony prior to the Civil Rights Game on Jackie Robinson Day. In addition to Mrs. Robinson, the ceremony also will feature Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, Dodgers Legend Don Newcombe, Joni Campanella (Roy’s daughter) and scholars from the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Dolores Huerta, Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Frank Robinson also will be recognized during pre-game ceremonies. Actor and multi-platinum Grammy nominated artist, Tyrese Gibson, will perform the National Anthem.
Major League Baseball and its Clubs are longstanding supporters of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and currently sponsor 33 Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars. The Foundation, established in 1973, provides four-year college scholarships, graduate school grants and extensive mentoring to a diverse group of academically distinguished students with leadership potential. The Foundation cultivates future leaders who will be ambassadors of Jackie Robinson’s guiding life tenet, “A life is not important except in its impact on other lives.”
About the Civil Rights Game
The 2015 Civil Rights Game is the ninth installation of an annual event that began in Memphis in 2007, centering on an exhibition game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Cleveland Indians. After another exhibition game in Memphis in 2008, the Civil Rights Game moved to Cincinnati (2009-2010), Atlanta (2011-2012), and Chicago (2013) as regular season contests, and last year was hosted in Houston by the Astros.