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MLB getting ready for Jackie Robinson Day on April 15 by announcing details & activities

 

 

Jackie Robinson in 1950 By United States Information Agency, available in the holdings of the National Archives and Records Administration, Public Domain, https commons.wikimedia.org

 

New batting practice attire & uniform elements added to complement special tradition of all players and all on-field personnel wearing Jackie’s ’42′

 

Major League Baseball today announced the details and activities to commemorate the annual, league-wide ‘Jackie Robinson Day’ on Sunday, April 15th. Most notably, new ’42′-logoed batting practice attire and other uniform elements were added as a complementary feature to the unique and special tradition of Major League players and all on-field personnel (managers, coaches and umpires) wearing Jackie’s Number ’42.’ Additional elements include home clubs hosting pregame ceremonies, special coverage via MLB Network and MLB.com, background and data on diversity throughout Baseball, and more.

NUMBER ’42′
As has been tradition each April 15th since 2009, MLB will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day with all players and on-field personnel wearing Jackie’s iconic Number ’42.’ For 2018, there will be additional on-field uniform elements, including a commemorative patch on all team caps and jersey sleeves, socks emblazoned with ’42,’ and a brand new lightweight hooded fleece for batting practice and dugout wear, also featuring the ’42′ logo.

DIVERSITY IN MLB – OPENING DAY & MLB DRAFT NUMBERS
On 2018 Opening Day active, 25-man rosters, 8.4% of Major League players are African-American/African-Canadian/Black, which is the highest percentage on Opening Day active rosters over the last six seasons. Of this group, 70% of players are aged 30 or younger, a 5% increase since 2015. Overall, 41% of players on 2018 active, Opening Day rosters are of a diverse background (African-American/African-Canadian/Black, Latino, Asian or Pacific Islander).

Over the last six years (2012-17), the first round of the MLB Draft has featured 41 African-American players out of 204 total selections (20.1%). In 2017, eight of the top 26 selections (30.8%) were African-American or Latino. 2017 also marked just the fourth time ever in the history of the MLB Draft that the first two picks were African-American players (1-Royce Lewis, 2-Hunter Greene). Last year was also the third consecutive that an alumnus of the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program was selected within the top five picks (2017, Green – #2; 2016, Corey Ray – #5; 2015, Dillon Tate – #4). In 2016, 10 of the top 41 selections (24.4%) and 17 of the first night’s 77 selections (22.1%) were African-American or Latino. The first round of the 2015 MLB Draft featured the selection of nine African-American players (25%, 9-of-36). On a percentage basis, this represented the most African-American players in the first round since 1992, eclipsing the recent previous high of 22.6% (7-of-31) in 2012. Twenty African-American players were selected in the first rounds of the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Drafts.

JACKIE ROBINSON DAY CLUB & BALLPARK ACTIVITY
Clubs playing at home on Sunday, April 15th will commemorate Jackie Robinson Day with special on-field, pregame ceremonies in their ballparks, some of which will include Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars, as well as activities in their respective communities. Jeweled bases and lineup cards also will be featured.

Jackie’s wife, Rachel Robinson, who is the Founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and their daughter and son, Sharon and David Robinson, will attend Jackie Robinson Day ceremonies at Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets.

SECOND ANNUAL ‘TRAILBLAZER SERIES’
In conjunction with Jackie Robinson Day weekend, MLB will host the second annual ‘Trailblazer Series’ at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, Calif. Approximately 100 girls, ages 13 and under, representing 21 states across the country as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Canada will participate in the three-day tournament held from Thursday, April 12th through Sunday, April 15th. Some of the nation’s top female baseball coaches and players, including those from USA Baseball’s Women’s National Team, will coach the girls who are from programs affiliated with AAU, Babe Ruth & Cal Ripken Baseball, Little League International, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, PONY and USSSA, among others.

JACKIE ROBINSON FOUNDATION
With support from donors like Major League Baseball and MLB Clubs, the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship Program provides four years of financial assistance and direct program services annually to 225 highly motivated students attending 100 colleges and universities across the country, and has developed a mentoring curriculum to reach a broad range of college students beyond its core “JRF Scholars”.

The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) is a public, non-profit organization that perpetuates the memory of Jackie Robinson by giving a four-year scholarship in his name and providing leadership development for minority college students as well as through building the Jackie Robinson Museum. The museum, will commemorate the life of Jackie Robinson as an athlete, activist and icon, illuminating his long-lasting impact across society through state-of-the-art exhibits, precious artifacts, film and other media. The National Jackie Robinson Museum Legacy Campaign has raised over $25 million and the museum is set to open in 2019.

MOST VALUABLE DIVERSE BUSINESS PARTNER AWARD
MLB will once again recognize and acknowledge diverse companies as recipients of the 12th Annual Jackie Robinson Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner Award, “MVDBP”. The award recognizes those Diverse Business Partners (diverse-owned businesses) who exhibit and continue the legacy of Jackie Robinson. Diverse suppliers were nominated and awarded based on their performance above and beyond the norm to exhibit quality, class and professionalism in all aspects of their business. This year MVDBP Awards were given by the Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers (awarding three suppliers), and the Office of the Commissioner.

MLB NETWORK & MLB.COM
MLB Network & MLB.com will have complete coverage of the day’s events from each Major League ballpark with video highlights, interviews, stories from its Club beat and national reporters and photographs. Leading up to April 15th, MLB Network will look back at the legacy of Jackie Robinson on “MLB Tonight,” and on its kids-focused show “Play Ball” on Saturday, April 14th at 10:00 a.m. ET. Additionally, Jackie Robinson Day events will be supported across MLB At Bat app, Cut4.com, and through official MLB and Club accounts on social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. Jackie Robinson Day will be supported across social media again with its official hashtag – #Jackie42.

A LOOK AHEAD
April 16th: Breaking Barriers: In Sport, In Life Essay Contest Winners - MLB and Scholastic will announce all 10 winners of the Breaking Barriers: In Sport, In Life essay contest, which honors the legacy of Jackie Robinson. The contest recognizes five students from each of the categories (Grades 4-6 and Grades 7-9) who have overcome barriers in their own lives using the example set forth by Jackie Robinson. The Grand Prize winner from each of the aforementioned categories will win a trip to the 2018 MLB All-Star Game and World Series, respectively.

Week April 23rd: Announcement of MLB Diversity Fellows - MLB will announce the Fellows selected for the inaugural class of the MLB Diversity Fellowship program, a new initiative to proactively recruit the best young and diverse talent for positions in the baseball operations, league economics and general front office areas.

Week of April 23rd: MLB Diversity & Inclusion Annual Report - MLB will release the inaugural Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Annual Report, a new approach to provide information and performance metrics of MLB’s business-focused activities through various D&I initiatives operated during the 2017 calendar year. This will be the first time the Commissioner’s Office has proactively shared D&I League and Club information publicly.

May 31st-June 3rd: Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series - MLB and USA Baseball will launch a groundbreaking new event specifically designed for the on-field development and scouting of female baseball players. The Girls Baseball Breakthrough Series (GBBS) is the newest iteration of the existing, diversity-focused amateur development camps operated by MLB, USA Baseball and USA Softball. Taking place at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla., the GBBS will serve as an opportunity for on-field development as well as a scouting showcase for dozens of girls, ages 17 and under, from around the country.

Various: Additional Breakthrough Series Camps - MLB, USA Baseball, USA Softball and the Major League Baseball Players Association will host diversity-focused amateur development camps throughout the Spring and Summer of 2018. These camps are designed to provide cost-free opportunities for high school age students with diverse backgrounds to demonstrate their on-field abilities as well as learn from former Major Leaguers, Professionals and Olympians. The schedule of these camps is as follows:

  • May 24-28 – Softball Breakthrough Series at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, Calif. (MLB & USA Softball)
  • June 9-13 – Baseball Breakthrough Series at the Kansas City MLB Urban Youth Academy in Kansas City, Mo. (MLB & USA Baseball)
  • June 18-22 – Baseball Breakthrough Series at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, Calif. (MLB & USA Baseball)
  • June 24-28 – Baseball Breakthrough Series at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla. (MLB & USA Baseball)
  • July 5-12 – Softball Elite Development Invitational (Ages 14-17) at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla. (MLB, MLBPA & USA Softball)
  • July 20-26 – Baseball Elite Development Invitational (Ages 16-18) at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla. (MLB, MLBPA & USA Baseball)
  • July 27-August 2 – Baseball Elite Development Invitational (Ages 13-15) at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla. (MLB, MLBPA & USA Baseball)

August 5th-16th: RBI World Series - The international baseball and softball championship tournament of Major League Baseball’s RBI program, which is designed to provide young people from underserved and diverse communities the opportunity to play baseball and softball, encourage academic success and teach the value of teamwork. The Minnesota Twins are hosting the RBI World Series for the fourth time since 2011.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY MLB MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com