There will be a special event on Sunday, April 15, in honor of Jackie Robinson Day and a Philadelphia Stars celebration and commemoration organized by the Business Association of West Parkside. The event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. at the Philadelphia Stars Negro League Memorial Park at Belmont and Parkside Avenues. Harold Gould, a member of the Philadelphia Stars, will be there. The ceremony will have plenty of refreshments. Phillies Ballgirls will take part in the tribute to the Philadelphia Stars.
After that event, the BAWP will host an event recognizing Jackie Robinson’s legacy. There will be a brunch at Le Cochon Noir, 5070 Parkside Avenue, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will have a “Jackie Robinson Day” talk. This year’s speaker is Rebecca Alpert from Temple University. Alpert wrote the book, “Out of Left Field,” on Jews in Black baseball. Admission is free and restaurant will be open for brunch.
Philadelphia’s 1864 baseball club, Athletic Base Ball Club, will be attending in full uniform. Following the brunch and talk, there will be a scrimmage across the street.
Robinson broke the color line on April 15, 1947, when he made his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers as the first Black to play in major league baseball. This is the 65th anniversary of Robinson’s historic day.
Phillies celebrate Jackie Robinson Day
The entire Phillies team will wear No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson on Sunday, April 15. Two players from the historic Philadelphia Stars, pitcher Harold Gould and second baseman Mahlon Duckett, will be honored on the field at Citizens Bank Park. The Philadelphia Stars were in existence from 1934 to 1952 and won the 1934 Negro National League pennant.
Members of the famed Tuskegee Airmen made history at the same time Robinson broke the color line in major league baseball. Airmen include Lt. Col. Thomas Mayfield, Rev. Milton Holmes, John Pritchett, Dr. Eugene Richardson, Henry Moore, John Harrison and Bertram Levy.
Tyanna Hudson, a senior at Frankford High, and a member of the Phillies RBI softball team, will receive the Jackie Robinson Scholarship from the Phillies. David Thomas, a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, will be honored. Thomas is a Jackie Robinson Foundation scholar.
In Ashburn Alley at Citizens Bank Park, there will be a life-size, hand-carved and painted wooden statue of Robinson. The statue, which weighs over 250 pounds and stands over 6-feet tall, was created by sculptor Brian Birrer and took over 900 hours to transform from over 50 pieces of walnut, pine and basswood.
Al Hunter Jr. will be there with his new book on Philadelphia Stars catcher Bill “Ready” Cash titled “Thou Shalt Not Steal: The Baseball Life and Times of a Rifle-Armed Negro League Catcher,” available for purchase at the Phillies Newsstand in Section 111.
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