Jack “Jackie” Roosevelt Robinson was born on January 31, 1919 in Cairo, Georgia. He, of course, went on to become a Hall of Fame inductee as a Brooklyn Dodger in 1962. Posthumously, MLB also retired his famous number 42 for all of baseball. But before all that, Jackie made a name for himself as a multi sport star at Pasadena City College.
The city of South Pasadena will be honoring him this Thursday on what would have been his 100th birthday.
In honor of the 100th Birthday of Jackie Robinson (1919-1972), a free screening of “The Jackie Robinson Story,” a classic 1950 film starring Jackie as himself will be presented at the South Pasadena Public Library. The free event for all ages will be celebrated in the Library Community Room on Thursday, January 31 at 7 pm on the eve of Black History Month. It is sponsored by the South Pasadena Public Library, the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, and the Lucille and Edward R. Roybal Foundation.
During his 10-year career, Robinson batted .311 lifetime, with 137 homeruns, 734 runs batted in, and 197 stolen bases. The 1949 MVP and 6-time All Star also posted a career OPS+ of 132 and bWAR of 61.4. In only 10 seasons!
Beyond his playing career, Jackie was a pioneer in the Civil Rights Movement, and a true American hero. A press release expanded on the subject:
Jackie worked tirelessly as a leader in the Civil Rights Movement and none other than Martin Luther King, Jr. called him a legend and a symbol in his own time. Rivaling only Babe Ruth as the most historically significant baseball player ever, Jackie Robinson is considered by many to be the most important figure in American sports history.
Introductions to the film will be made by Mark Langill, Official Historian of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Alex Boekelheide, Executive Director of Strategic Communications and Marketing, Pasadena City College.
“The Jackie Robinson Story” was initially released to theaters in 1953 during the era of racial segregation but was nonetheless accorded critical praise and strong box office receipts. It featured an outstanding performance by Ruby Dee as Jackie’s wife, Rachel Robinson. Although not a professional actor, Jackie Robinson’s potentially difficult portrayal of himself also earned high praises for its confident assuredness and restraint. And as might be expected, the re-enacted baseball scenes are outstanding — and in many ways they are superior to those in “42”, the 2013 Jackie Robinson motion picture starring Chadwick Bozeman.
The South Pasadena Public Library Community Room is located at 1115 El Centro Street. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. no tickets or reservations are necessary, and refreshments will be served. Special surprises are planned as well. Thanks to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Pasadena City College, 210eastsound, Videotheque, The Rose, and Movie Licensing USA.
For more information, please call the South Pasadena Public Library at 626-403-7350.
Free parking is available after noon at the Mission Meridian Parking Garage located at 805 Meridian Avenue adjacent to the Metro Gold Line Station, only one block from the Library. Upon request made no later than four (4) business days before the event, the City will provide a reasonable accommodation for a qualified person with a disability to have equal access to the event.
Please contact ADA Coordinator and Human Resources Manager, Mariam Lee Ko, at (626) 403-7312 or fill out the City’s request form available at www.southpasadenaca.gov and email the form to Human Resources at HR@southpasadenaca.gov
Dodger Stadium Celebration *UPDATE*
Additionally, the team will be hosting 250 children and parents from Union Rescue Mission during a celebration at Dodger Stadium in honor of Robinson. The birthday party will run from 6:30-8:30pm in partnership with Worthy of Love.
The program will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Jackie Robinson Statue (in Lot B), where participants will sing “Happy Birthday” to Robinson.
“The Dodgers are proud to keep Jackie Robinson’s spirit alive on his 100thbirthday and continue to teach future generations about his life and legacy,” said Naomi Rodriguez, Dodger Vice President of External Affairs & Community Relations. “We know this will be an unforgettable day for hundreds of children, filled with birthday cake, fun and games.”“It has been a vision of mine to throw birthday parties in stadiums throughout the nation for the 2.5 million children experiencing homelessness,” said Mary Davis, founder of Worthy of Love. “To see smiles on the kids’ faces as they enter Dodger Stadium will be a dream come true!”
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