Jackie Robinson Day
Thursday, April 15, 2010
Happy 25th birthday to last night’s winning pitcher John Danks. Remember where you were when you turned 25?
I wrote a great entry on Tuesday — believe me — but just noticed today that it never posted and somehow is lost. It’s too bad, because it was full of vim and vigor. Hah.
Actually, I wrote about how I was amazed that when we unveiled our World Series Championship monument and plaza in April 2007, the Chicago Tribune failed to run a photo of the multimillion dollar plaza that has become so popular with White Sox fans (an editor did apologize to me, saying it incorrectly fell through the cracks). But when the other team in town renovates a bathroom, a photo runs on the second page of the same newspaper’s sports section.
Generally, I don’t put much credence in the Sox vs. Cubs media battle (I’ll never forget that Bill Veeck’s PR guy told me that in the 1950s — when the Sox were dominating the won-loss standings — Veeck had his folks keep track of column inches because of perceived disparities in coverage), but little things like this stick in my craw and make me shake my head.
Anyway, it was a great entry (at least it made me feel better) but alas, it’s lost in the cyber world forever.
Significance of Today
It’s important for baseballs fans of all races and generations to remember the importance April 15, 1947 had for this game and this country.
Although the White Sox are not home for the exact day, we will be celebrating Jackie Robinson Day here on April 20.
A few facts about White Sox efforts to continue to grow baseball in Chicago’s African-American community and some details about JR Day celebrations here next homestand:
As you may or may not know, the Chicago White Sox and Chicago White Sox Charities sponsor amateur baseball teams at many levels each summer, everything from Inner City Youth Baseball (at the youngest levels) up to our Amatuer City Elite (ACE) program for kids who hope to play baseball at the college or even professional level.
The idea behind our elite program is that many city kids just don’t get the exposure of elite suburban travel baseball programs, so we sponsor teams, provide coaching and make sure these kids get to play in all the best tournaments and against the best competition in the nation. Because of all of their hard work, the results have been impressive.
Here are some of the highlights …
March 27, 2010 – Sun-Times top 100 baseball players to watch (By Sean Duncan) named three ACE players:
? Ronzelle Fort (Sr) – Harlan
? Kendall Radcliffe (Sr)- Morgan Park
? Kyle Huber (Sr) – Lane Tech
Perfect Game USA Preseason High School All American – (High Honorable Mention)
? Dontrell Rush (Jr) – Harlan. Dontrell was the 2009 MVP of the Double Duty Classic
Through the ACE program, the White Sox offer rising stars in the inner-city baseball community the opportunity to play baseball against other highly competitive groups on a traveling team. ACE team members (youth 13-17 years of age) are engaged through an elite practice and competition schedule while receiving academic direction to prepare them for success both on and off the field.
Since the inception of the Amateur City Elite program in 2007, two alumni have been drafted by professional teams, including Steve Florence of Simeon, who was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 50th round of the 2008 draft, while fourteen alumni have gone on to play collegiate baseball, including nine at the Division I level.
The highlight each season for the ACE program is the Double Duty Classic played at U.S. Cellular Field. The Double Duty Classic recreates the historic Negro League East-West All-Star game played in Chicago at Comiskey Park and serves as an instrument to educate youth on the Negro Leagues and to provide exposure to professional and collegiate scouts. The 2010 Double Duty Classic will take place on June 30, game-time 1:05 p.m. For more information please visit: www.whitesox.com/ddc
On April 20, members of the Chicago White Sox Charities sponsored Amateur City Elite (ACE) baseball program will take part in various on-field ceremonies as the White Sox celebrate Jackie Robinson Day at U.S. Cellular Field.
13U ACE team member Jeremiah Anderson will throw out a ceremonial first pitch. In addition, ACE youth will “take the field ” with the White Sox prior to the game’s first pitch. All youth will wear #42 jerseys to commemorate the legacy and spirit of Jackie Robinson.