92nd MLB All-Star Game – Celebrating Jackie Robinson


The 92nd Major League Baseball All-Star game pulled out of Los Angeles this past Wednesday morning and is now headed to Seattle Washington for next year’s summer classic.

The game this year had several significant twist for Dodgers fans like us. For the first time in 42 years the game was back at Chavez Ravine. The number 42 also represented the coveted number worn by Jackie Robinson. Just as important the game was played on July 19th which happened to coincide with Mrs. Rachel Robinson’s 100th birthday.

For us it was a great experience. We participated in several days at the CapitalOne Ballpark Experience which took over the Los Angeles Convention Center and adjoining L.A. Live complex. We also attended the Home Run derby which was a great exhibition, although as a die-hard baseball fan I must admit some of the duels appeared tainted with manipulation………ummm.

We kicked off the final event by attending the All-Star game. The representation of fans at the game wearing their favorite team gear was just as impressive as the simmering heat. Here are some pics of our experience.

CapitalOne Ballpark Experience



As a person who appreciates the history of the Negro Leagues it was great to attend a panel themed “The Life & Legacy of Jackie Robinson.” To truly understand the impact you would need to familiarize yourself with his stint as a member of the Kansas City Monarchs.

CLICK HERE TO SEE FULL VIDEO

The world remembers Jackie breaking the color barrier in 1947 but another key reason why owners were reluctant to integrate was the huge sums they were making from the popular Negro Leagues who used major league stadiums to play while they were on the road. They were making money hand-over fist, for basically doing nothing but opening the gates. Once they let Jackie in and the other great players followed, the Negro Leagues waned and the owners lost that source of income they had enjoyed for all of the years.” Bob Kendrick, Executive Director Negro League Baseball Museum.


As mentioned we were able to attend the popular Home Run Derby thanks to Jackie from MLB who gifted us with tickets.


We contemplated on going to the game as for month’s we pondered if the tickets would be out of reach for our budget?It was decided the event was too important to pass up so we made adjustments to make sure we could witness the game, as if it took 42 years for the game to land back at the Ravine, more than likely we would not be here physically the next time it was awarded to the Dodgers. Normally we are in Loge 130 but we opted for the right field pavilion for a different experience.


The game was important but the one issue for us was whether Mrs. Robinson would be in attendance? We have seen her numerous times at the Ravine as over the years she has consistently appeared. Even at 99, looking glamorous and regal she was present this past April 15th. Here is a special clip prepared by MLB “Celebrating Rachel”

CELEBRATING RACHEL – CLICK HERE

Understandingly she did not make it but Mookie Betts summoned all players to the home plate area and asked the 54,000+ fans to join him in wishing her a Happy Birthday.


Another highlight was having Denzel Washington, who is no stranger to Dodger Stadium give a poignant presentation on Jackie Robinson.

Denzel tribute



Finally, I haven’t been able to locate the clip but as soon as I do it will be posted. MLB’s Harold Reynold’s featured a special about the Legacy of Jackie Robinson. It featured Spike Lee, President Bill Clinton, Bo Jackson and Bud Selig. IT IS A MUST SEE.

Jackie Robinson Day 2022 – 75th Anniversary


[Chavez Ravine] Today marks the 75th anniversary that Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball (MLB). The impact and folklore of Robinson’s achievement is historic.

Robinson’s playing career ended in 1957 and as the team was preparing to locate to Los Angeles he was traded to the Giants. He traded his glove and spikes for white shirts and suits and became the first African-American in corporate America by becoming Vice President at Chock Full of Nuts.

MLB normally accommodates the Dodgers by making sure April 15th is a home game. We will join the throngs at Chavez Ravine (Dodger Stadium) as they take on the Cincinnati Reds. In addition to the pregame festivities and the thousands who will gather around his statue it will be quite a game to see all players, managers, umpires and field personnel dawn number 42. We remember Jackie!!!!

Postscript

For those lucky to be in attendance it was a memorable pre-game salute. For those who may have missed it the clip below pays homage to Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson Day 2020 – Covid 19


Today I join baseball fans around the globe to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day.

#Jackie42

The event has turned into a special day for our family as this is the day we all suit up and head to Dodger stadium.  Due to Covid-19 our celebration will be virtual as even though a pandemic is blazing across the land, paying homage to “Jack” must go on.

One of my many caps celebrating Jackie. Courtesy of Terry from Baller Gear.

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.

As a baseball historian I have mapped out a full schedule of activities to pay my respect.  Here is a partial listing as well as some great links you may want to check-out if you too are inspired to salute #42.

The players, umpires, managers and coaches may not be on the field donning #42 but you can believe people from all walks of life will be wearing their Jackie Robinson gear as a sign of respect and connection to his legacy.

 


MLB’S COMPLETE GUIDE TO JACKIE ROBINSON DAY


Ken Griffey, Jr. gives a great interview on how he was inspired to call baseball commissioner Bud Selig to request if he could wear #42 CLICK HERE


#42 was a special movie because it captured Robinson’s experience as he hit the Dodgers minor league play in preparation in being called up to the “big team.”  It captures his stint in Daytona Beach, Fl which today has the Jackie Robinson stadium and is used by the Chicago Cubs minor league system.  Additionally there is some great scenes from Sanford, FL (about 20 miles from Daytona Beach) which in 2012 happened to be the city Trayvon Martin was murdered by George Zimmerman.

#42


I’ve seen just about every documentary and film about Jackie Robinson, so in addition to 42 and others, I will be revisiting Ken Burns great four hour project.

JACKIE ROBINSON

 


The Jackie Robinson is a great movie as Jack and Rachel play themselves

THE JACKIE ROBINSON STORY


Prior to signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie was with the Kansas City Monarchs.  Pictured below is his 1945 baseball card.


The Jackie Robinson Foundation

Jackie Robinson Museum

50 Years Later – Martin Luther King, Jr. – His Life and Legacy


This past weekend thousands of souls participated in the annual Selma Bridge Crossing May Jubilee.  The event commemorates the historic “Bloody-Sunday” event which occured March 7, 1965.  Sadly when you reflect on what made the event historic you are reminded it was legal segregation maintained in many states across the United States and their refusal to allow African-American (Negroes) to register to vote.  So for those who even today in 2018 sit while dismissing the notion that voting is irrelevant or doesn’t mean anything, I would implore them to study some history and understand why many in power used the law to stop folk from executing their constitutional right.

MLK’s 50th Commemoration

People from around the globe are making plans to journey to Memphis, TN to pay their respect and participate in the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the assassination of Rev, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Many events are planned and some are taking place as your read this.  A special tribute will take place on April 4, 2018.

Time Magazine has released their book, “50 Years Later – Martin Luther King, Jr. – His Life and Legacy.”  I received my copy today and the ninety-six page book will be a good addition to your library.  It is filled with many photos and short essays which provide a perspective of Dr. King’s journey and sets the tone of the historic event.