Although the official 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier and becoming the first African American to play Major League Baseball occurred on April 15th, the celebration continues.
To continue that celebration, The Root has been given the opportunity to share with you the exclusive first trailer for The HISTORY Channel’s upcoming two-hour documentary After Jackie. The documentary will tell the untold story of the second wave of Black major league players who took the league by storm and continued the fight for racial equality.
The documentary will still touch on some of the struggles that Robinson endured as a player and his activism after his baseball career, but the focus of this documentary is not entirely on him.
While the first names that may come to mind are Baseball Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson, the trio of Bill White, Curt Flood and Bob Gibson from the St. Louis Cardinals may have had the most profound impact on the way Black baseball players are treated today after Jackie Robinson.
These three men carried the torch that Jackie Robinson lit and advanced the status of Black players on and off the field and led the league toward greater roster integration and helped America’s favorite pastime change for the better.
Some of the contributions of Curt Flood, outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals during the mid-60s, changed the status and power of athletes across all sports.
The documentary is directed by critically-acclaimed producer and director Andre Gaines. The executive producers for the documentary include NBA star LeBron James, his business partner Maverick Carter and Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Stanley Nelson.
The film will feature interviews with White and Gibson, before his untimely death, and former and current players such as CC Sabathia, Mookie Betters, Ken Griffey Jr, Joe Torre, Dave Roberts, Al Downing, and Tim McCarver.
After Jackie premieres on June 18 at 8 p.m. ET on The HISTORY Channel.