Monday is a special day throughout baseball, but even more so for the Dodgers, as they celebrate the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first major league game, at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn in 1947.
The festivities already got underway at Washington Middle School in Pasadena, where Robinson went as a child. Robinson's daughter Sharon, author of a new book 'Jackie Robinson: American Hero,' Matt Kemp, and Tommy Davis went to the school to talk to students.
But the big celebration will be at Dodger Stadium on Monday night. Rachel Robinson, Jackie's wife, will be in attendance, as will his son David Robinson and Sharon Robinson as well. In addition, the Dodgers will pay tribute to Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe. Campanella, Newcombe, and Robinson are depicted on a statue that will be given to the first 40,000 fans.
Here are some details and notes about Monday's celebration:
- Auto and stadium gates open at 4:40 p.m. PT
- From 5:10 to 7:10 p.m. PT over 200 fans who purchased a special $42 ticket will take part in a Loge Terrace reception with former Dodgers Maury Wills, Davis, Ron Cey, Sweet Lou Johnson, Dennis Powell, and Derrel Thomas.
- There will be 42 logos on the pitching mound, the dugout, and near the foul pole and baselines.
- There will be "Jackie Robinson Day jeweled bases and lineup cards."
- A video tribute to Jackie Robinson will be played in stadium. The pregame ceremony begins at 6:50 p.m. PT.
- Harrison Ford, who plays Branch Rickey in '42,' will throw out the first pitch.
- A 17-member choir from West Angeles Church of God in Christ will sing the national anthem.
- Kelly Jakle, granddaughter of Branch Rickey, will sing God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch.
- Sharon Robinson will say the honorary "It's time for Dodger baseball."
- The two veterans of the game were members of the Tuskegee Airmen, Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Lumpkin of Los Angeles and Major Levy Thorn Hill of Virginia.
- Sharon Robinson will be signing copies of her book from the first to the third inning in the right field tent store.