Major League Baseball to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day
with on-field tributes and celebrations
04/13/2007 1:33 PM ET
Major League Baseball's league-wide 60th anniversary celebration of Jackie Robinson's Major League debut, to be held this Sunday, will include festivities at each of the 15 games throughout Major League Baseball, a VIP and celebrity-filled national celebration at Dodger Stadium, all Major League players wearing a Number 42 decal on their helmets, as well as additional in-stadium and out-of-stadium elements on Jackie Robinson Day, now in its fourth year.
The pregame celebration at Dodger Stadium will begin with a video tribute to Jackie Robinson followed by an "Ode to Jackie" reading by celebrities, including Courtney B. Vance, Marlon Wayans and Angela Bassett. The Brookinaires Gospel Choir from The First African Methodist Episcopal Church, the oldest black church in Los Angeles, will perform "Oh Happy Day," which was one of Robinson's favorite songs.
Academy Award® winner Jennifer Hudson will perform the U.S. National Anthem prior to the start of the game. Hall of Famers Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson will throw out the ceremonial first pitches. In addition, the Dodgers will unveil two 63-foot tall murals of Jackie Robinson on the exterior of Dodger Stadium, and the DodgerVision screen will run features about Jackie in between innings throughout the game.
All Major League Baseball players will honor the legacy of Jackie Robinson on Sunday by wearing a decal featuring his uniform Number 42 on their helmets. Numerous members of Major League Clubs will also wear jerseys bearing Number 42. During the Padres-Dodgers game, the entire roster of Los Angeles Dodgers players will pay tribute to Robinson by wearing Number 42, as will Mike Cameron of the San Diego Padres.
MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, will have the Number 42 as background on its homepage, which is the first time a player's number has been used in this way.
All behind-the-plate signage shown during the national game telecast will pay tribute to Jackie Robinson, with inventory having been donated by Major League Baseball, ESPN and MLB sponsors Bank of America, Budweiser, Chevrolet, Gatorade, MasterCard, Sharp and Taco Bell.
Throughout the league, the 60th anniversary will be filled with events that recognize Robinson's impact on the game. The pre-game ceremony and game will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes at 8 p.m. (EDT), and will also be carried on XM Satellite Radio. Among those participating in the festivities will be Rachel Robinson, Jackie's wife and founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation; their daughter, author Sharon Robinson; their son, David Robinson; several of Jackie's former teammates; baseball executives and civic and industry leaders; Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars; and winners of the 2007 Breaking Barriers Essay Contest.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.