One of the most significant moments in Major League Baseball history is when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier on April 15, 1947. The Phillies, along with Major League Baseball, will pay tribute to this milestone and celebrate the 67th anniversary of the occasion with a "Jackie Robinson Salute" at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday, April 15, before and during the 7:05 p.m. game against the Atlanta Braves.
A special on-field tribute starts at 6:40 p.m., where the Phillies will salute African-American pioneers who opened doors for others.
PHILLIES JACKIE ROBINSON SALUTE
- The entire Phillies team will be wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson; In addition, the game will feature Jackie Robinson Day jeweled bases and lineup cards.
- An amazing life-size, hand-carved and painted wooden statue of Jackie Robinson will be on display in the Left Field Plaza of Ashburn Alley for fans to take photos. The statue, which weighs over 250 pounds and stands over 6 feet tall, was created by sculptor Brian Birrer and took over 900 hours to transform from over 50 pieces of Walnut, Pine and Basswood. Birrer, from Northern, NJ, will also be in attendance.
- Second baseman Mahlon Duckett, the only surviving player from the historic Philadelphia Stars, will be honored on the field. The Philadelphia Stars was in existence from 1934 to 1952 and won the 1934 Negro National League pennant. Phillies players will also participate in the tribute.
- Members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, who made history at the same time Jackie Robinson broke the "color line" in Major League Baseball, will be the honor guard for the game.
- The national anthem will be sung by Chrystal E. Williams, mezzo-soprano & Academy of Vocal Arts Resident Artist. Also, fans are invited to watch the Phillies' "I am 42" video tribute to Jackie Robinson, which will be played on PhanaVision.
- A Phillies Jackie Robinson Scholarship presentation will be made to Gwen Franklin, a senior at Central High School and a Phillies RBI All-Star softball player.
- A Jackie Robinson Foundation Recognition of Whitney Muse and Dantawn Nicholson.
- Paintings of Jackie Robinson and General Benjamin Davis, Jr. of the Tuskegee Airmen by local artist Sylvia Castellanos will be on display on the Hall of Fame Club level.
QUOTES FROM PHILLIES PLAYERS ABOUT JACKIE ROBINSON
Ryne Sandberg: "Jackie Robinson was a tremendous athlete who understood the challenges he would face when he took the field. He met those challenges with dignity, grace and a strong work ethic that propelled him to be one of the game's greats and a true role model then and now."
Domonic Brown: "If it weren't' for Jackie I wouldn't be playing. I tip my hat to him and his family for all they had to go through. Courage is the word for me to describe Jackie."
Marlon Byrd: "Jackie's legacy is an inspiration to me and all players. He forever changed the game for the better."
Jimmy Rollins: "It's fun putting on the "42" jersey every year. Jackie was more than just an athlete, he was more than just a baseball player, he was a political figure."
Chase Utley: "The stadium at UCLA is named after him and just stepping onto the field you can feel his impact on the game. It is awe inspiring to know that I played at a place where a legend took his first steps in changing the game I love forever."
Ryan Howard: "I think it is an honor, the ultimate tribute, for all of us to wear "42" each year. Jackie changed not only baseball, but America."
For more information, please visit phillies.com.