The Los Angeles Dodgers will join the rest of Major League Baseball in marking Sunday’s 71st anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color line.
Pregame ceremonies for the 1:10 p.m. game at Dodger Stadium against the Arizona Diamondbacks will include current and former Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars.
The foundation was founded by Robinson’s widow Rachel in 1973, the year following his death at the age of 53. It provides four-year college scholarships to disadvantaged students of color.
Students from Robinson’s high school alma mater, John Muir High School in Pasadena, will attend the game as part of the team’s Kids 4 Dodgers Baseball initiative.
Students from his elementary school, Cleveland Elementary School in Pasadena, will participate in Kids Take the Field, with a student accompanying each of the nine Dodger starters as they take the field.
Major League Baseball has marked the anniversary of Robinson’s breaking baseball’s color line by holding Jackie Robinson Day each year since 2004.
For the 10th consecutive year, all players and other on-field personnel will wear Robinson’s No. 42. The number 42 was retired throughout Major League Baseball in 1997, on the 50th anniversary of Robinson’s April 15, 1947 debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Additional on-field uniform elements have been added this year, including a commemorative patch on all team caps and jersey sleeves, socks emblazoned with 42 and a new lightweight hooded fleece for batting practice and dugout wear, also featuring the 42 logo.
The first 40,000 ticketed fans in attendance will receive a Jackie Robinson replica No. 42 jersey.
Robinson went hitless in four at-bats in his major league debut, but scored what proved to be the winning run in Brooklyn’s 5-3 victory over the Boston Braves in front of a crowd announced at 25,623 at Ebbets Field.
Robinson played his entire major league career with the Brooklyn Dodgers, helping lead them to six National League titles during his 10 seasons, and, in 1955, their only World Series championship in Brooklyn.
Robinson’s successful integration of Major League Baseball is credited with helping change Americans’ attitudes toward blacks and being a catalyst toward later civil rights advances.
“I’ve often said that baseball’s proudest moment and its most powerful social statement came when Jackie Robinson first set foot on a Major League Baseball field,” then-MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said in 2004 in connection with Major League Baseball’s first leaguewide Jackie Robinson Day.