White Sox Honor Jackie Robinson’s Legacy
Friday, April 15, 2011
Today, the White Sox joined Major League Baseball in commemorating the legacy of Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson by hosting a Jackie Robinson Day luncheon and forum. Attendees included various prominent African American business leaders, White Sox Amateur City Elite youth team members, Jackie Robinson Scholars, White Sox legend Minnie Miñoso, and current players Juan Pierre and Edwin Jackson.
After the luncheon, a panel discussion was conducted focusing on Robinson’s impact on society and the game of baseball then and now. The discussion was moderated by Daryl Hawks of NBC Chicago and featured White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, senior vice president and general manager Ken Williams, author of Opening Day: Jackie Robinson’s First Season, Jonathan Eig, and former National League President and current Jackie Robinson Foundation board member Len Coleman.
The forum began with a short video highlighting Jackie Robinson’s accomplishments as the first African American to play Major League Baseball. Next, Eig read a passage from his book. This led into a discussion on Robinson as a role model to young people today, his place in the eyes of Brooklyn fans and African American fans during his career, baseball’s progress since then and its current challenges. See Reinsdorf reflect on the playing style of Jackie Robinson, here.
To conclude the panel discussion, Len Coleman and Sonya Pankey, granddaughter of Jackie Robinson, presented Jerry Reinsdorf with the first Jackie Robinson Foundation Chairman’s Award which recognizes outstanding leaders in the sports industry who have promoted the values embodied in the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson.