New playing field for Jackie Robinson Day: Online tributes

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NEW YORK — Forced from the field by the new coronavirus, Major League Baseball is moving its annual celebration of Jackie Robinson online.

The Jackie Robinson Foundation is launching a virtual learning hub to coincide with the 73rd anniversary Wednesday of Robinson breaking the major league color barrier.

CC Sabathia and Harold Reynolds are among the former major leaguers reading excerpts from the book by Robinson’s daughter, Sharon. She will appear in video vignettes and there are virtual and printable educational activities.

Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier on April 15, 1947, for the Brooklyn Dodgers and his No. 42 was retired throughout the major leagues in 1997 by then-Commissioner Bud Selig. An annual Jackie Robinson Day started in 2004. Since 2009, all players, managers, coaches have worn his No. 42 to mark the day.

The MLB Network will air Robinson-related programs from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT followed by Ken Burns’ two-part documentary on Robinson. plans Jackie Robinson-related programming from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EDT; and DJ Envy will host an Instagram set from 7-9 p.m.

The 1955 World Series film of the Dodgers’ only World Series title while in Brooklyn will stream starting at 7 p.m. EDT on MLB’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitter English-language sites and its Spanish-language Facebook and Twitter sites.

MLB plans to announce its 14th annual Jackie Robinson Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner Award.