Jackie Robinson Day features panel discussion, Dodger Stadium ceremonies to honor No. 42
The Dodgers have scheduled a series of events Friday to honor the 64th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier.
They’ll start off the day with 10 current and former Dodgers holding a panel discussion on Robinson’s effect on baseball and society at Crenshaw High School. Former Robinson teammate Don Newcombe, now a special advisor to Frank McCourt, will moderate the panel.
Also scheduled to appear at the Crenshaw assembly are Tommy Davis, Maury Wills, Lou Johnson and current Dodgers Matt Kemp, James Loney, Marcus Thames, Tony Gwynn Jr., Xavier Paul, and minor leaguer and Crenshaw alum Trayvon Robinson. It is closed to the public.
The Dodgers have also donated tickets to the entire Crenshaw student body for their game June 13 against the Reds.
"The Dodgers and Jackie Robinson have been a team for so many years and they remain a team today,’’ Newcombe said in a statement. "I look forward to helping the next generation of Americans learn all about who Jackie was and how much he means to so many people.’’
All Dodger players and coaches, like all teams in baseball, will wear Robinson’s No. 42. His number has been retired by baseball.
"Each year, Jackie Robinson Day is an occasion for us to pause and reflect on the game's proudest and most powerful moment,’’ Commissioner Bud Selig in a statement. "Jackie's legacy is as strong and vibrant as ever throughout Major League Baseball. I am proud that the No. 42, which has come to stand for Jackie's courage and grace, will again be worn in honor of our game's greatest pioneer.’’
The Dodgers also plan to honor Robinson before Friday’s game against the Cardinals. The Dodgers Dream Foundation charity offers 42 scholarships and this year’s 42 scholars will join Newcombe on the field in a pregame tribute.
Robinson attended Pasadena’s Muir High School, Pasadena Junior College and UCLA.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Frank Robinson, Sweet Lou Johnson, Tommy Davis and Kareem Abdul Jabbar attend ceremonies celebrating Jackie Robinson Day moments before the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks played at Dodger Stadium April 15, 2010. Credit: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times