Every year on April 15th Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day, and all players throughout the league wear the number 42, the number Jackie Robinson made famous while becoming the first African-American to play in the Major Leagues for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
This year, the MLB and the Los Angeles Dodgers in particular will be doing something more to celebrate the day. Major League Baseball announced that the Dodgers will host the Seattle Mariners at Dodger Stadium in the 2015 Civil Rights Game on Jackie Robinson Day. It will mark the first time that baseball’s tribute to civil rights leaders and figures will be held in conjunction with its annual commemoration of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier on April 15, 1947.
The Civil Rights Game was developed by MLB to pay tribute to the spirit of the civil rights movement and to honor those who embodied the struggle for equal rights for all Americans. This is the first Civil Rights Game hosted by the Dodgers and second one they have played in (2012), while this will be the first overall for the Mariners.
“It is truly an ideal pairing to have the franchise of Jackie Robinson and the city of Los Angeles join our National Pastime in recognizing leaders of the past and present who have done so much for the benefit of our country,” said Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “Together with the Dodgers, Major League Baseball will proudly celebrate the civil rights movement, the courageous people like Jackie who contributed to it, and its many lessons that continue to resonate today.”
Dodger owner Earvin “Magic” Johnson also commented on the event:
“We’re proud of the role the Dodgers have played in professional sports history as pioneers of social change since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947 during the team’s days in Brooklyn,” Johnson said. “From Jackie to Sandy Koufax to Fernando Valenzuela to Hideo Nomo to Chan Ho Park to now Yasiel Puig and Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Dodgers have sought to lead the way and be a model of inclusion in sports and American society as a whole.”
The game will be aired on ESPN2 as a part of the network’s Wednesday Night Baseball package.
Dodgers 2015 Spring Training – Carl Crawford