The Los Angeles Dodgers hosted Major League Baseball’s annual Civil Rights Game on Wednesday, and for the first time it was played on MLB’s annual Jackie Robinson Day. But Jackie wasn’t the only Robinson being honored this year. Hall of Famer Frank Robinson received a special award commemorating the 40th anniversary of his becoming the first African American manager in MLB history.
Kid Reporter Max Ferregur had a chance to speak with Frank Robinson before the Civil Rights Game. Robinson talked about his memories of Jackie Robinson, what civil rights means to him, and the work baseball still needs to do when it comes to African American managers. (Currently, there is only one: Seattle’s Lloyd McClendon.) Watch his interview below.
The Los Angeles Dodgers hold a special place in the history of both baseball and the civil rights movement. That’s all thanks to one man whose courage, wisdom, and determination proved that the battle for equal rights could be won.
On April 15, 1947, Jackie Roosevelt Robinson made his major league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers and became the first African American to break baseball’s color barrier. Robinson was a great player — he earned National League Rookie of the Year honors in 1947 and in 1949 was named NL MVP when he led the league in hitting with a .342 average, had 37 steals, and a career-high 124 RBIs — but he became an American hero. He was strong enough to battle against hatred by putting up a fight without fighting back. He battled with his bat, glove, and base running skills.
Since 2004, Major League Baseball has honored Robinson and his importance to the game — and America — by celebrating Jackie Robinson Day every April 15. But yesterday’s Jackie Robinson game in LA was something special. It was also MLB’s annual Civil Rights Game, which not only celebrated Robinson but the contributions of African Americans to the game of baseball.
Once upon a time, sluggers ruled baseball. Powerful hitters dazzled fans with 500-foot home runs that turned ballparks into bandboxes, filled box scores with eye-popping stats, and terrorized pitchers.
But the days of hitting and offense dominating the game are gone. Pitchers rule now. Major League Baseball's great gunslingers, with their 100-mph fastballs, video game curveballs, and Bugs Bunny changeups, have become the showstoppers. Last season was filled with highlights from the mound: from Josh Beckett's no-hitter in May — the first of five 2014 no-nos (five!) — to Clayton Kershaw's year for the ages to the superhuman feats of Madison Bumgarner, who in October single-handedly carried the Giants to their third World Series title in five seasons with a masterful performance.
The challenge for Sony with MLB 15 The Show was to make a perfect game even more perfect. Believe it or not, Sony succeeded.
Most notable this year: You can pull and push your hits with the left control stick. Bottom of the ninth and down by a run with the righthanded Yasiel Puig at the plate? Swing early, pull the ball towards the leftfield wall, and get ready to slow-trot the bases while the crowd roars.
In each issue of Sports Illustrated Kids, we feature three kids who excel in sports, does well in school, and gives back to the community. These young athletes do it all — on and off the field! Meet this month’s SportsKids of the Month!
Micah Schnyders, 13
New Lenox, IL
In January, Micah led Southwest Chicago Christian School to victory in the Calvin Tournament championship. He scored a combined 67 points in the semifinal and title game for the 13--2 Titans.
As Hall of Famer Rogers Horsnby once said, “People ask me what I do in the winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”
Millions of baseball fans feel the same way. Opening Day marks the beginning of a new life for fans, and it is a very special day. It is not, however, an official holiday. I am here to tell you that it should be.
For more than 20 years, Bud Selig served as the commissioner of Major League Baseball. But this season, there’s a new sheriff in town. After working for MLB since 1987, New York-native Rob Manfred became MLB’s 10th commissioner in January. And going into his first season he has some big issues to address in his first season, from improving pace of play to integrating new technology in the game.
But his top priority? Make baseball more appealing to kids. Despite exciting young players like Andrew McCutchen, Mike Trout, and Yasiel Puig, young people aren’t watching or playing baseball like they used to. Commissioner Manfred wants to change that. Kid Reporter Amiri Tulloch sat down with the commish at MLB’s New York headquarters to talk about how Manfred hopes to bring kids back to baseball.