Rachel Robinson and Don Newcombe, seen here in 2005, will be a part of pregame ceremonies with Magic Johnson on Monday night at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers on Monday will open an eight-game homestand, the first homestand of the post-McCourt era. It will be interesting to gauge the attendance, as there will undoubtedly be fans who decide to show up simply because Frank McCourt is no longer there.
The homestand begins with a three-game series against the rival San Francisco Giants, with new ownership partner Magic Johnson already making his presence felt. Johnson fought back tears talking about Jackie Robinson during the new owners introductory press conference on Wednesday, and before Monday's game Johnson will escort Robinson's widow Rachel Robinson to the mound, along with Dodger legend Don Newcombe for the ceremonial first pitch.
"I am here thanks to the sacrifices made by Jackie Robinson, Don Newcombe and others of their era that overcame similar hardships and turned challenges into opportunities, creating a Dodger legacy that endures today," said Johnson in a statement. "Our debt to Jackie for his impact on society, and athletes like me, can never be repaid. It will truly be an honor to stand with Rachel and Don as I join the Dodgers in our mission to make Jackie proud by doing everything in our power to help this iconic team return to its rightful place atop Major League Baseball."
Jeffrey Osborne, a longtime staple at Lakers games, will sign the national anthem and God Bless America on Monday.
The Dodgers at 17-9 are tied with the Washington Nationals for the best record in the National League, and their homestand will be against divisional foes San Francisco, the Colorado Rockies, then two games with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Beginning Monday, the Dodgers will play 18 of their next 23 games at home, with single trips to San Diego (for two games) and Arizona mixed in.