A truly significant moment in Major League Baseball history occurred 67 years ago today when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier on April 15, 1947. The Phillies, along with Major League Baseball, will pay tribute to this milestone with a “Jackie Robinson Salute” at Citizens Bank Park prior to today’s 7:05 p.m. game against the Braves. Here are some highlights for our Jackie Robinson Salute:
The entire Phillies team will wear #42 in honor of Jackie.
A 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.
Mahlon Duckett, second baseman and 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 help pay tribute to this living legend on-field.
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 and Academy of Vocal Arts Resident Artist.
In addition, fans can watch the Phillies’ “I am 42” video tribute to Jackie Robinson, which will be played on PhanaVision.
Fans will also receive a Jackie Robinson print (photo at the top of this post) with quotes from manager Ryne Sandberg and Phillies players on Jackie Robinson and his impact on them on the back.
We couldn’t choose one so here are a few Phillies players expressing what Jackie meant to them on this day: