4/12 Cubs to honor Jackie Robinson on Tuesday
The Cubs will honor the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier on Tuesday. All uniformed personnel will wear Robinson’s retired No. 42 in honor of the Hall of Famer.
“We’re happy to join all of Major League Baseball on this historic occasion,” said Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts. “Jackie Robinson is a true American hero, and we are all greatly indebted to his contribution to not only baseball, but to American history and culture.”
Nearly 50 “42” flags will adorn the Wrigley Field roof for the Cubs’ series opener against the Rangers. As part of the pregame ceremony, Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Billy Williams will be recognized. Banks shares a special kinship with Robinson as the first African-American to play for the Cubs. Banks considered Robinson a mentor during their time in the majors. Banks and Robinson also share the same birthday, Jan. 31.
Billy Williams broke into the Majors not long after Robinson and Banks, and credits Robinson with being the pioneer who opened the door for all baseball players of color.
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., founder and president, Rainbow Push Coalition, will throw one of the first pitches Tuesday night. Jackson and Robinson were friends, and Rev. Jackson gave the eulogy at Jackie Robinson’s funeral services in Brooklyn, NY.
John C. McGinley will join Rev. Jackson for a first pitch assignment. McGinley stars as the Brooklyn play-by-play announcer Red Barber in the movie, “42: The True Story of An American Legend.” Barber was affectionately known as the voice of the Dodgers from 1939 to 1953. McGinley will also serve as the guest conductor for the seventh inning stretch.
After the game, Cubs Authentics will auction a game worn No. 42 jersey signed by all Cubs players and a flag from the roof of Wrigley Field. Proceeds will go to Chicago Cubs Charities.
The Chicago Cubs will host more than 300 Chicago Public School high school baseball players at Tuesday’s game in recognition of the celebration. Several CPS baseball players will be recognized during the pregame ceremony.