ANAHEIM (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day Friday, four months after it is usually celebrated, due to the coronavirus pandemic pushing back the 2020 season.
Jackie Robinson Day, customarily held on April 15, marks the anniversary of his breaking baseball’s color line in 1947.
Because the coronavirus pandemic postponed the MLB’s 2020 season and no games were played on April 15, Jackie Robinson Day is instead being held on Aug. 28.
Aug. 28 is also the anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which is best remembered for Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech and led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Robinson, his wife and children were among the more than 200,000 people in attendance for the demonstration.
After attending the march, Robinson wrote, “I’ve never been so proud to be a Negro. I’ve never been so proud to be an American.”
The day also marks the anniversary of Robinson’s three-hour meeting with Brooklyn Dodgers President Branch Rickey at the team’s office in 1945 which led to his signing with the Montreal Royals, the Dodgers’ International League affiliate, later that year.
For the 12th consecutive year, all players and other on-field personnel will wear Robinson’s No. 42, which was retired in 1997 on the 50th anniversary of Robinson’s debut with the Dodgers.
The Jackie Robinson Day logo will be included on caps worn by on-field personnel, base jewels and official dugout lineup cards.
“There’s not an American in this country free until every one of us is free.”
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 28, 2020
The Los Angeles Dodgers, who traditionally play a home game on Jackie Robinson Day, are scheduled to play the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas where a video honoring Robinson’s legacy that will be shown on video boards before the game.
The DoppelRangers cutouts will feature Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars and Rangers MLB Youth Academy youngsters.
The foundation was founded by Robinson’s widow Rachel Robinson in 1973, the year following Jackie Robinson’s death at the age of 53. It provides four-year college scholarships to disadvantaged students of color.
An online auction of the jerseys worn by the Dodgers will begin Sept. 10. Proceeds will benefit the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit organization that provides legal representation to people claiming to be illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced or abused in state jails and prisons, challenges the death penalty and excessive punishment and provides re-entry assistance to formerly incarcerated people.
Dodger outfielder Mookie Betts narrated MLB’s 90-second Jackie Robinson Day video, “4 Us 2 Remember” which celebrates Robinson’s life and legacy away from the field.
The video combines words from Robinson’s 1972 autobiography, “I Never Had It Made,” and insights his daughter, Sharon, as well as archival footage and photos from Robinson’s life and visuals from peaceful protests in response to George Floyd’s death.
“4 Us 2 Remember” reminds us that Jackie Robinson’s legacy lives on through the players who proudly wear 42 and everyone who stands against injustice.
— MLB (@MLB) August 28, 2020
A video presentation will be played on Angel Stadium’s scoreboards before the introduction of the starting lineups for the Los Angeles Angels-Seattle Mariners game.
The jerseys worn by the Angels will be auctioned online with net proceeds going to the Angels Baseball Foundation to benefit community-related youth programs throughout the region.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)