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Dodgers pay tribute to Jackie Robinson at Crenshaw High School
By Jason Lewis (Sports Editor)
Published April 21, 2011

Don Newcombe introduces Crenshaw alum Trayvon Robinson and other Dodger participants to Crenshaw High School.

Tony Gwynn Jr. meets a Crenshaw High School student. Photos by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers

The Dodgers paid tribute to Jackie Robinson this past week on the anniversary of his breaking the color barrier, which was April 15. Robinson’s tribute featured a panel discussion at Crenshaw High School. Special Advisor to the Chairman and former teammate of Robinson, Don Newcombe moderated the panel, which included “Sweet” Lou Johnson, Tommy Davis and Maury Wills, as well as current Dodgers Matt Kemp, James Loney, Marcus Thames, Tony Gwynn Jr. and Xavier Paul and Dodger prospect and Crenshaw High School alumnus Trayvon Robinson. The group spoke on Jackie Robinson’s legacy and the historical changes that he affected on society. The Dodgers will also donate tickets to the entire Crenshaw High School student body for a Crenshaw High School Night on June 13.

“The Dodgers and Jackie Robinson have been a team for so many years and they remain a team today,” said Newcombe. “I look forward to helping the next generation of Americans learn all about who Jackie was and how much he means to so many people.”

Prior to the April 15 game versus St. Louis, the Dodgers’ “Team 42” scholars were joined on the field by Newcombe for a pre-game tribute to Robinson. The Dodgers Dream Foundation funds 42 college scholarships each year as part of the “Team 42” program. The Dodgers’ Veteran of the Game ceremony honored Tuskegee Airman Theodore J. Lumpkin. Broadway singer and actress Jenifer Lewis sung the National Anthem and God Bless America. Newcombe threw out the ceremonial first pitch to Kemp and video tributes to Robinson were shown on the Dodgervision board prior to the game and in-between innings.

All Dodger players and coaches once again wore the number 42 to honor the 64th anniversary and enduring impact of Robinson breaking the color barrier. Dodger players signed their jerseys, which will be auctioned off at a later date to benefit the DDF and Jackie Robinson Foundation. Major League Baseball has dedicated April 15 as Jackie Robinson Day throughout baseball, as Robinson played his first Major League game at Ebbets Field on April 15, 1947 as a first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

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