75th Anniversary Of Jackie Robinson’s MLB Debut To Include MLBbro Legends & Celebrations at Iconic NYC Locations

75th Anniversary Of Jackie Robinson’s MLB Debut To Include MLBbro Legends & Celebrations at Iconic NYC Locations

Ken Griffey Jr., Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia, Joe Torre, Willie Randolph and Butch Huskey will all participate in multiple activities throughout the day as every player in baseball dons No. 42 in honor of the most important singular figure in MLB history, on the 75th anniversary of his racial-barrier breaking MLB debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on this day in 1947.

Activities to Honor Jackie’s Legacy Include Youth “PLAY BALL” Activation & Press Conference in Times Square, Empire State Building Lighting Ceremony and Street Renaming

WHO: 

Robert D. Manfred, Jr. – Commissioner of Baseball

Sonya Pankey – Eldest grandchild of Jackie and Rachel Robinson; Consultant, MLB

Ken Griffey Jr. – Baseball Hall of Famer; notably, the first player to request wearing “42” in honor of Jackie

Mariano Rivera – Baseball Hall of Famer; last Major Leaguer to wear “42” every game

CC Sabathia – Six-Time All-Star and 2007 Cy Young Award Winner; Co-Founder, The Players Alliance

Joe Torre – Hall of Fame Manager; Brooklyn native; Special Assistant to the Commissioner

Willie Randolph – Former All-Star second baseman, New York Yankees; former Manager, New York Mets

Butch Huskey – Last Mets player to wear “42”


SCHEDULE OF MLB ACTIVITIES IN HONOR OF JACKIE ROBINSON DAY/75TH ANNIVERSARY

 

7:30-9:00 a.m., “PLAY BALL” – Up to 50 kids, among five groups representing each of the five NYC boroughs, will participate in a special PLAY BALL baseball/softball activation on “Pedestrian Plaza” on Times Square.

Programs includeBedStuy Sluggers RBI (Brooklyn), DREAM Charter Schools (Manhattan), Castle Hill Little League & RBI (Bronx), Mid-Island Little League (Staten Island) and Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of NY (Queens).

Address: Outdoor Plaza on 44th Street & 7th Avenue

Key People Involved: ALL ABOVE

9:30 a.m., “Press Conference in Duffy Square” – Commissioner Manfred, Sonya Pankey and Ken Griffey Jr. will be among speakers at special press conference to celebrate the iconic day.

Address: Duffy Square on 47th Street & 7th Avenue

Key People Involved: ALL ABOVE + Representative of Mayor Adams’ administration

SPECIAL VISUAL REVEAL OF NYC STREET SIGNAGE HONORING JACKIE

Street signage will be headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown following April 15th

10:30 a.m., CONFIDENTIAL – “Surprise Shopping Spree for Kids” – Legends will surprise the 50 kids from earlier in the morning with a shopping spree at MLB’s Official NYC Store.

Address: 1271 Avenue of the Americas

Key People Involved: ALL ABOVE

12:00 p.m., “Empire State Building Lighting Ceremony” – One icon will honor another as the Empire State Building will host a lighting ceremony for Jackie Robinson Day. The Empire State Building will shine its world-famous tower lights in blue and white with a rotating “42” on display that evening.

Address: 350 5th Avenue

Key People Involved: Sabathia, Rivera, Torre, Randolph, Huskey and Meta Robinson (Jackie and Rachel granddaughter)

1:30 p.m., “NYC Street Signage Ceremony” – The special signage, which was unveiled at 9:30 a.m. press conference, will be formally placed at corner of 42nd Street & Broadway.

Address: 42nd Street & Broadway

Major League Baseball Names MLBbro Pitching Legend CC Sabathia Special Assistant To The Commissioner

Major League Baseball Names MLBbro Pitching Legend CC Sabathia Special Assistant To The Commissioner


Sabathia to Work on Player Relations, The Players Alliance Partnership, And Special MLB Network Game Telecasts

 

Major League Baseball announced today that CC Sabathia has been named Special Assistant to the Commissioner in a new role developed specifically for him that will address areas important to the future of the sport, including player relations, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, social responsibility, youth participation, and broadcasting.

Sabathia will work closely with the Commissioner’s Office staff on a variety of high priority league initiatives.  The Vallejo, California native will bring his perspective as a 19-year MLB veteran to the Commissioner’s Office where he will be a liaison between MLB and active Major League players to collaborate on special efforts to help grow, and promote equity within, the game of baseball.

 

Players Alliance 

Sabathia will help execute new initiatives with MLB’s partnership with The Players Alliance, where he is Vice President of the Board of Directors. The Players Alliance is a nonprofit formed in 2020 to address barriers to equity and inclusion in the game of baseball. Through his work with the group, Sabathia has actively engaged both active and retired players to ascertain the best methods for increasing opportunity and representation of Black talent on and off the field.

The six-time All-Star also will continue to collaborate with MLB Network on its Clubhouse Edition telecasts where Sabathia joins former players to call the action in a non-traditional format, a concept Sabathia was involved in creating and developing last season. The former southpaw joined all four Clubhouse telecasts on MLB Network with former players to announce the games in a more conversational way and casual setting.

CC Sabathia Continues Giving Back To Game 

“We are excited to have CC Sabathia join the Commissioner’s Office to work on some of our most important initiatives,” said Commissioner of Baseball Robert D. Manfred, Jr. “We welcome CC’s positive energy, strong character, creative mind, and civic-minded approach in building on our efforts to strengthen the game, diversify the sport, and give back to the community. CC has a powerful voice in Baseball, and we value the perspective he will bring to our office.”

“I’m looking forward to sharing my viewpoint as a former Major League player with the Commissioner’s Office,” said Sabathia. “I want to be able to continue to give back to the game that I love so much. This new role gives me the opportunity to continue the work I’m passionate about, be an advocate for players and be able to contribute to the decision-making process of the league office after 19 years on the field. I can’t wait to get started.”

Sabathia, who will be based in MLB’s midtown Manhattan headquarters, joins a group of former MLB players working in the Commissioner’s Office including Raúl Ibañez, Billy Bean, Rajai Davis, Gregor Blanco, Joe Martinez, Dan Otero, and Hall of Famers Ken Griffey Jr. (Special Assistant to the Commissioner) and Cal Ripken Jr. (Special Advisor to the Commissioner).

Sabathia retired in 2019 as only the third left-hander in Major League history to register 3,000 career strikeouts. The 6’6” hurler also recorded 251 wins, earned the 2007 American League Cy Young Award, and was the 2009 ALCS MVP as the ace of the New York Yankees’ most-recent World Series title team. MLB honored Sabathia at the 2019 All-Star Game in Cleveland, where he started his career and pitched from 2001-08, for his contributions to the game and community.

 

Helping Baseball Grow In The Inner-City 

In 2009, CC and his wife Amber founded the “PitCCh In” Foundation to enrich the lives of inner-city children by raising their self-esteem and improving their chances of success through sports and education. Since its inception, PitCCh In has donated more than 50,000 backpacks with back-to-school essentials for deserving children and multiple baseball field renovations. The Sabathia’s have also personally supported numerous philanthropic organizations and worthwhile causes, including the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Toys for Tots.

CC Speaks The Gospel | Black Athletes Forced To Play Baseball “The White Way”

CC Speaks The Gospel | Black Athletes Forced To Play Baseball “The White Way”

By Devon POV Mason | Contributor

 

Professional baseball has changed and looks to continuously change with “ANALYTICS.”

In fact, It’s gotten so bad that Black Ace C.C. Sabathia has just come out and said what we all know: “Black baseball players are forced to play baseball the White way.”

From the defensive shifts to the devaluing of athleticism and other aspects of the game like stolen bases and bunts. The authenticity of the game is dying and giving way to a data-infested robot show with a focus on home runs, spin rates from pitchers and hitters’ exit velocity.

All of these things have altered the way the game is played, managed and consumed. The most glaring way that baseball has changed is in the complexion of the guys who play the game.

Watch any major league game and you’ll quickly notice the lack of MLBbros. It’s exactly why we started MLBbro.com.

Analytics Is The Op

Being forced to play and manage under a new metrics-obsessed and often talent-oppressing culture has contributed to the decline of African-Americans in the sport.

 

 

In fact only 7% of the players on Opening Day rosters this season were African-American, down substantially from a high of 18.7% in 1981, according to the Society of American Baseball Research.

That’s pretty sad in a country where Black people currently make up 13.4% of the population according to U.S Census Bureau stats and Black and Brown players dominate MLB’s All-Time record books, leaving no misconceptions about their impact on the game’s history.

 

 

Playing a sport that’s predominantly white like baseball means that there are a multitude of factors Black and brown players will always have to contend with, that have absolutely nothing to do with their on-field ability.

Power In Numbers 

 

Yankees legend C.C. Sabathia recalls himself reeling during the summer of 2016, much like the rest of us, following the murders of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling.

That was just the latest in a long string of Black Americans dying at the hands of officers.

But instead of finding comfort in his teammates, he was met with a stereotypical response: “Why don’t they just obey?”

An Excerpt from “Till The End”, a new autobiography of pitcher CC Sabathia, addresses the pressures Black players face to play baseball “the white way.”

When you see a lack of Black players who are willing to speaking out about social issues, systemic problems and police brutality, it’s because of the lack of diversity. There are just not enough Black players for one to feel comfortable enough to take a stand — unlike the NBA or NFL where there’s strength in numbers.

Lack of Diversity Leads To Cultural Alienation 

Sabathia says there were times in Cleveland where he was the only Black player on the entire roster. The Yankees only had four or five Black players at most, on its 24-man roster each season during most of C.C.’s tenure in the Bronx.

“That’s a lonely place to be at any point in your career, but especially if you’re a younger guy trying to prove yourself in the game. You want to hold onto your job and you want to feel like you’re part of the team, not an outcast, not an angry Black guy,” Sabathia lamented.

”And you want fans to love you. LeBron is probably the only athlete who is so good that as soon as he’s back on the court everyone forgets what he just tweeted about social injustice.

But the rest of us would hear about it from the fans and media. You can play baseball for a long time, have a lot of fun, and make a lot of money. But right now this sport isn’t for us, and we know that. And if the game doesn’t change, it’s going to be in trouble, and not just with Black people.”

It’s Bigger Than Baseball

Sabathia recalls spending fifteen minutes in a Boston Louis Vuitton store without one sales associate even acknowledging him, and it wasn’t because they were archrival Boston Red Sox fans either. And how about Willie Mays arguably the greatest player ever, not being able to purchase a home in the wealthiest San Francisco areas when he played for the Giants in the 50’s and 60’s.

Not much has changed as far as how Black players are treated.

This country has always done a really good job of reminding you that even if you’re rich and famous, many people still consider you less than when you’re Black.

Black baseball players should be free to express themselves comfortably and exist within their culture. The thought that players of color have to be fearful of being authentic is just one of the systemic ills that have made baseball a sport that’s not easily digestible for Blacks.

Until MLB has more Black ownership, leadership in the dugout and in the front office, Black players will continue to be forced into an analytics box where their potential is stripped from them as they attempt to fit a certain number or personality mold created by a person who could never understand the depth of their genius.

Major League Baseball Names MLBbro Pitching Legend CC Sabathia Special Assistant To The Commissioner

CC Sabathia’s Physical Transformation Continues In Retirement

CC Sabathia retired from baseball in 2019 after a successful career. Ever since he’s retired from the league, he’s been putting in work and transforming his body.

Sabathia certainly doesn’t look how he did when he was playing. Our MLBbro is out here looking like a bodybuilder and he looks like he can still dominate on the mound.

Though Sabathia had success throughout his career, his weight was something he struggled with.

“My tagline as a baseball player was mass equals gas,” Sabathia said in an episode of Men’s Health’s Eat Like. “And I always thought the bigger I was, the better I pitched. And that was always the case for me.”

At one point during his career, he weighed over 300 pounds. 342 pounds to be exact.

But if you saw a recent picture of him and didn’t know who he was, you would never think he weighed that much.

 

 

It’s a process and a consistent routine that Sabathia sticks to daily. And it’s not all about working out, he’s eating healthier as well which is a good balance to have.

As you can see, his hard work is definitely paying off.

According to a Yahoo.com article, Sabathia wakes up around 6:30 a.m. to eat breakfast and then heads to the gym to work out with his trainer.

That is something Sabathia does six days a week and he’s not showing any signs of slowing down.

Sabathia had a health scare towards the end of his career and that prompted a change to his health. 

It was in 2018 when he was doing a training session with his trainer.

“I was in there working out, and he was like bro, you’re white,” Sabathia told Menshealth.com. “You need to go get checked out.”

When he went to the hospital, he ended up needing a stent because of a 90 percent blockage in an artery to his heart.

That will wake somebody up for sure and open their eyes to see that a change needs to be made.

Sabathia wasted no time and after he retired, he got to work. 

The lefty had an exceptional career on the mound. He played 19 seasons in the league and during that time he won a World Series title and won an AL Cy Young award.

Not to mention he was a six-time All-Star and led the league in wins twice.

He finished his career with 251 wins and 3,093 strikeouts. 

 

 

Those are some impressive accomplishments and numbers right there and he was doing that weighing close to 300 pounds.

Just think, if Sabathia had the body he has now and was in the league, he could have been even more dominant. 

But he still was able to make a name for himself and establish himself as one of the most dominant pitchers to ever take the mound.

It won’t be too long until his name will be called in Cooperstown. But until then you might want to follow his journey because the transformation he has made is a sight to see.