For 364 days out of the year, I ignore Major League Baseball entirely.
But every April 15, I make it a point to partake in Jackie Robinson Day, which commemorates the historic moment that Robinson became the first black player to integrate the major leagues in 1947.
Since officially becoming a thing in 2004, the festivities typically entail everyone from players to umpires throughout the league donning Robinson’s uniform number (42) to pay homage, while in recent years, the celebration has included the creation of a website in his honor in 2011, and a bronze statue of Robinson being erected at Dodger Stadium in 2017.
But with ballparks empty, and MLB on pause due to the coronavirus, how will baseball honor its legendary second baseman? Much like just about every other industry at this point, the answer’s simple: It’s going digital.
According to MLB, “every platform Major League Baseball utilizes to disseminate information will be dedicated toward celebrating Jackie Robinson Day.” Here’s how that will look:
That includes airing a constant stream of past games that were played on April 15, running documentaries detailing Robinson’s life and presenting feature stories reflecting on Robinson’s influence on baseball, civil rights and scores of African-American players who became stars in the years and decades following Jackie’s entry into the big leagues. MLB’s social platforms will also feature custom, original content, and fans are invited to celebrate the day and post recorded messages and photos on social media of what Jackie and his legacy mean to them, using the hashtag #Jackie42.
On MLB.com, expect to see the documentary Letters To Jackie, which explores Robinson’s contributions to the civil rights movement, in addition to footage from the 1955 World Series—in which Robinson’s Brooklyn Dodgers snuck past the Yankees in the best-of-seven series. While over on the MLB Network, you’ll find Ken Griffey Jr. discussing Robinson’s legacy in an all-new episode of “Play Ball,” as well the Ken Burns’ documentary Jackie Robinson, which originally aired on PBS in 2016.
Other highlights include crossword puzzles and other activities for children, a virtual learning hub rife with educational programming and Breakfast Club co-host DJ Envy hosting #TheClubhouse, a live DJ set on Instagram Live to closeout Jackie Robinson Day beginning at 7pm EST.
For more details and information on the full schedule of MLB’s Jackie Robinson Day festivities, hit up their website here.