(East Los Angeles, CA) February 3, 2022 [From The Editor’s Desk]: On January 31st, to proudly commemorate what would have been #42/Jackie Roosevelt Robinson’s 103rd birthday, coupled with the 75th year anniversary of breaking the “Color” barrier in Major League Baseball this coming April 15, 2022, the Los Angeles Dodgers, their outstanding Manager, Dave Roberts, the Dodgers Vice-President of External Affairs and Community Relations, Naomi Rodriguez, and some (60) softball and baseball players from Jackie’s Alma Mater, Pasadena’s John Muir High School, participated in an extraordinary noontime, one hour “Zoom” event with special guest, David Robinson, Jackie’s youngest son.
This very well-planned memorial event was held adjacent to Jackie’s commanding 8 foot tall Bronze statue of his stealing of home plate, which is located in the left field reserve plaza of Dodger Stadium, the most-used fan entrance for all games.
The program began with the reception of the Muir High Mustangs, contingent by Naomi and Manager Roberts who invited them in to be seated for the Zoom to begin. Once all were seated, this 5th year event commenced. It was created in Jackie’s honor, and highlighted the homage paid to him in this very unique Q & A manner.
As the facilitator, Manager Roberts then took the microphone and began to engage David on his personal background, his familial experiences and memories growing up with his father, the Dodgers legend and pioneer of his era who remains to this day, one of the most respected and hallowed sports figures in American and World History.
To view the full one-hour “Zoom” meeting that was held on his birthday, this past Monday, January 31, 2022, click on the video below. The Dodgers also allowed us to share pictures taken during the event. We hope you enjoy both of these presentations in our story.
The questions that Manager Roberts asked covered a unique range of phases in Jackie’s life. The session was then followed by several of the student-athletes, asking David questions about his Dad’s early family experiences when they lived in Cairo, GA. Two of the main influencers that Jackie spoke to him about were his grandmother, who was born into slavery, his mother, Mallie, born a sharecropper, and his wife, Rachel who supported him in all of his trials, tribulations, and successes through their marriage.
David also mentioned that his father always took time to speak about how each generation would have to create its own contribution to humanity through “service” to humanity that helped to make a change in the world if one dreamt to do so. The Zoom meeting truly allowed Manager Roberts to gracefully ask David for a deeper understanding of his father that revealed sound information about Jackie Robinson, the legend, the man, the father, a Dodgers Hall of Famer, National League, MVP, 6 x All-Star, and World Series Champion, a civil rights proponent, and as his son described, a “Basic” man who saw himself as someone who, strongly believed as he left us with his famous quote, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
Nearing the conclusion of the event, Manager Roberts called upon Muir High School’s Principal, Dr. Lawton Gray, to receive a $5,000 check as a donation from the Dodgers organization to the Muir softball and baseball programs.
On a final note from our perspective, the day’s event segued nicely to February 1st as a powerful transition to begin our acknowledgement of Day #1 through Day #28 during our country’s annual observance, recognition and celebration of African-American History Month.
We encourage all of our followers who have some time to read our entire story and view the full Zoom meeting, to then share it with others who you feel are interested in learning more about the legendary, late and great, #42, Jackie R. Robinson.