CHICAGO – For Major League Baseball, April 15th will always be a day to celebrate, especially in 2022.
On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke the league’s color barrier as he took the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers against the Boston Braves at Ebbets Field. The moment is commemorated every season, including the 75th anniversary of the trailblazing moment in the MLB on Friday.
League-wide, players will all be wearing Robinson’s No. 42 during games on Friday, including the White Sox contest with the Rays at Guaranteed Rate Field and Cubs’ game against the Rockies in Denver.
Individual players have their own tributes as well, including Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward, who will join others in The Players Alliance in donating the Friday gameday salary to charity.
Tim Anderson will wear the No. 42 for the White Sox proudly as he’s taken part in a number of tributes to Robinson over the years with the franchise. The 2021 All-Star has also been prominent in the Chicago community in carrying on Robinson’s legacy while growing the game in inner-city neighborhoods.
The importance of doing that in the Hall of Famer’s honor and teaching what he did 75 years ago to a new generation isn’t lost on him as he takes the field this evening.
“I think the more they know about him, the more they’re going to learn, and understand what kind of man he was, and what he meant to people, what he meant to the game, and really everybody,” said Anderson on Friday. “So I think the quicker you learn the better chance you have at understanding that.”
The White Sox will honor a number of individuals before their game against Rays at Guaranteed Rate Field on Friday evening. Illinois Army National Guard Assistant Adjutant General Brigadier General Rodney C. Boyd, the first Black officer to hold that position, will throw out the first pitch along with Chicago historian Shermann Dilla Thomas.
Boyd will also be honored as the “Hero of the Game.”
Chicago White Sox Charities Foundation scholar Patrik Nwankpa will be honored along with 2022 Jackie Robinson Diverse Business Partner Program awards winners Complex Network Solutions and Lightitech.
The Cubs will hold their festivities on Monday when they return to Wrigley Field when they host Tampa Bay.
A list of those can be seen above.