Manatees To Play In First Jackie Robinson Game Today

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at Historic Dodgertown on April 15

IN THE BEGINNING: The first, and little known, Major League tryout for black players was arranged by Wendell Smith (center right above), a black sportswriter for the Pittsburgh Courier, and took place at Fenway Park on April 16, 1945 – two years before the color barrier was broken. The tryout was supervised by four Hall of Famers: Hugh Duffy (top left), a Red Sox coach; Joe Cronin (top center, left), the manager; Eddie Collins (top right), the general manager; and Tom Yawkey (top center, right), the owner.   Immediately following the tryout, all four tried to dodge responsibility for evaluating the players. The tryout included two stars from the Negro League, including Philadelphia Stars shortstop Marvin Williams (above center) and Cleveland Buckeyes outfielder Sam Jethroe (above right); and ex-UCLA running back Jackie Robinson (above left).

IN THE BEGINNING: The first, and little known, Major League tryout for black players was arranged by Wendell Smith (center right above), a black sportswriter for the Pittsburgh Courier, and took place at Fenway Park on April 16, 1945 – two years before the color barrier was broken. The tryout was supervised by four Hall of Famers: Hugh Duffy (top left), a Red Sox coach; Joe Cronin (top center, left), the manager; Eddie Collins (top right), the general manager; and Tom Yawkey (top center, right), the owner. Immediately following the tryout, all four tried to dodge responsibility for evaluating the players. The tryout included two stars from the Negro League, including Philadelphia Stars shortstop Marvin Williams (above center) and Cleveland Buckeyes outfielder Sam Jethroe (above right); and ex-UCLA running back Jackie Robinson (above left).

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — The Brevard County Manatees, in conjunction with Historic Dodgertown, the Florida State League and the Lakeland Flying Tigers, will play in the inaugural Jackie Robinson Celebration Game at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach on Tuesday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m.

The Brevard County Manatees, in conjunction with Historic Dodgertown, the Florida State League and the Lakeland Flying Tigers, are pleased to announce the playing of the inaugural Jackie Robinson Celebration Game at Historic Dodgertown at Holman Stadium in Vero Beach on Tuesday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m. (Manatees image)

The Brevard County Manatees, in conjunction with Historic Dodgertown, the Florida State League and the Lakeland Flying Tigers, are pleased to announce the playing of the inaugural Jackie Robinson Celebration Game at Historic Dodgertown at Holman Stadium in Vero Beach on Tuesday, April 15 at 6:30 p.m. (Manatees image)

“Historic Dodgertown is truly the cradle of baseball’s racial integration,” said Minor League Baseball President & CEO Pat O’Conner.

“The activities on those hallowed grounds and the exploits of Jackie Robinson changed not only baseball, but America and the world.

“There is no more fitting tribute to Jackie Robinson’s legacy and Historic Dodgertown’s place in history than to play a professional baseball game in Vero Beach on April 15. I applaud the efforts of Peter O’Malley and the Florida State League in giving Minor League Baseball a role in the celebration.”

Pat O'Conner

Pat O’Conner

This will be the first time that a Florida State League game will be played at Holman Stadium since August 30, 2008.

“We are certainly glad to again play a Florida State League game in Historic Dodgertown,” said Florida State League President Chuck Murphy.

“I sincerely hope we can continue this practice in years to come. I applaud our two teams for making this event happen along with Historic Dodgertown.”

The gates to Holman Stadium will open at 5 p.m. and all tickets will be general admission and will be sold for $5 each. The net proceeds from all ticket sales will go to the United Way of Indian River County.

RELATED STORY: Red Sox Gave Robinson First MLB Tryout In 1945

Brady Ballard

Brady Ballard

“Historic Dodgertown is thrilled to host a regular season Florida State League game between the Manatees and Flying Tigers,” said Historic Dodgertown Vice President Brady Ballard.

“This is a great community event that brings professional baseball back to Holman Stadium for a night and provides an exciting event to benefit the United Way of Indian River County.

“We would like to thank both teams and their management, the Brewers and Tigers organizations, the Florida State League and Minor League Baseball for helping to bring this event to Vero Beach.”

Chuck Murphy

Chuck Murphy

Tickets will also be sold at Holman Stadium the day of the event and concessions will be available. More information on individual ticket sales through the Manatees box office will be announced at a later date.

All Brevard County Manatees’ full season ticket holders will receive a ticket for the game as part of their season ticket package.

Members of the Manatees Silver ‘Tees Senior Fan Club presented by Browning’s Pharmacy will also receive a free ticket for the game, when they present their Silver ‘Tees membership card at the Holman Stadium box office on the day of the game.

There will be another Silver ‘Tees date added to the Manatees’ home schedule to accommodate the fans who are unable to make the trip to game at Historic Dodgertown.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL MICHAEL KINT  AT 772-567-8900


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