Tuesday is Jackie Robinson Day across baseball, honoring the 67th anniversary of the day Robinson played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. The most prominent of the events planned to honor Robinson was to take place at Yankee Stadium before New York's game against the Chicago Cubs, but rain forced the game, and the ceremony, to be delayed until Wednesday.
Robinson's wife, Rachel, daughter Sharon, Commissioner Bud Selig and members of the Steinbrenner family are scheduled to be in attendance for the unveiling of a plaque to honor late South African leader Nelson Mandela. The plaque will be placed in Monument Park.
"It's a wonderful thing that they have Jackie Robinson Day. That goes without saying," Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter said Tuesday. "I've enjoyed getting to know his family over the years. I first met his wife that first year at the Baseball Writers' dinner in 1996. I've gotten to know her well, same thing with her daughter. We all look forward to having that game when we all get to wear that No. 42 and honor him."
"Jackie Robinson is an American icon whose accomplishments and leadership continue to inspire us in baseball and our society at large," Selig said. "Major League Baseball proudly celebrates his enduring legacy, which is reflected by extraordinary on-field diversity of players from all backgrounds, enthusiastic participation in youth baseball and softball, and proven results in diverse business efforts."
Other ceremonies around baseball that will make the occasion Tuesday, provided by Major League Baseball:
With the Dodgers on the road to play the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers’ commemoration of Robinson takes place at Dodger Stadium, starting with a youth baseball clinic for 120 youngsters from South LA’s Challengers Boys & Girls Club from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) will also play host to 30 Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars and Alumni at Dodger Stadium from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
In Cincinnati, former Reds player Chuck Harmon will be honored as the first African American to play for the Reds 60 years ago on April 7, 1954.
In Minneapolis, the Twins will present Celebrate Diversity Day in tribute to Robinson. The pregame festivities at Target Field will include a lineup of musical and cultural performances. In addition, Jackie Robinson essay winners will be presented with awards during a pregame ceremony.
In U.S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox, a special panel discussion titled "Jackie Robinson: A Catalyst for Change in American Society" will be held.
In San Diego, the Padres will host 42 youngsters from the local Jackie Robinson YMCA. They will align on the field along the first-base line wearing Padres No. 42 jerseys, while on the third-base line members of the Padres' RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) leagues will take their places.
In Phoenix, the Diamondbacks will recognize an Arizona Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar, Lucia Carbajal, and MLB All-Star Arizona Diamondbacks Branch Boys & Girls Club Youth of the Year, Edreyse Sharkey, during a special pregame ceremony. The club will contribute $4,200 -- in honor of Robinson's No. 42 -- to both the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the local Boys & Girls Club.
In Vero Beach, Fla., home of the Dodgers during spring training from 1949 to 2008, Robinson will be honored during a Florida State League game between Lakeland and Brevard County. All proceeds from the game will be donated to the United Way of Indian County.
"I am quite proud that when Jack stepped onto the field on April 15, 1947, and broke the color barrier in baseball, he helped to further social change in America," said Rachel Robinson. "On behalf of our family and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, we are thrilled that Major League Baseball continues to honor him and works to ensure that what he stood for will not be forgotten by future generations."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times