* The Cubs fifth annual Bricks and Ivy Ball raised more than $1.35 million to support Cubs Charities’ programs. The event, held Wednesday night at Union Station, featured the 2015 Cubs team and coaching staff, who mingled with more than 700 guests.
* The Cubs will honor Jackie Robinson during the next homestand which begins Monday at Wrigley Field against the Reds. On Wednesday, the Cubs will join MLB by hosting Jackie Robinson Day at Wrigley Field. Robinson’s legacy is memorialized each year on April 15 to recognize the anniversary of the Hall of Famer, who broke baseball’s color barrier. All uniformed players and personnel will wear Robinson’s No. 42.
Each base used at Wrigley Field will feature a commemorative Jackie Robinson Day base jewel. These game-used bases and No. 42 jerseys will be available to purchase through Cubs Authentics to benefit Cubs Charities.
A pregame ceremony will include video highlights from Robinson’s career.
The Cubs are partnering with Ebony Magazine to present Jackie Robinson Day at Wrigley Field on Monday. Jackie Robinson Day is recognized throughout MLB on April 15 but the Cubs were on the road. Ebony is making available vintage photographs of Jackie Robinson and other African American baseball legends which will be on display at Wrigley Field in the Budweiser Bleacher Concourse during Monday night’s game. The photographs are from the Ebony Collections. Joshua Mhoon, 10, of the Oak Park Mustangs will throw out the first pitch. He plays pitcher and first base for the Mustangs.
On Tuesday, the Cubs will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day, and all uniformed personnel will wear No. 42 to commemorate the 66th anniversary of his breaking baseball’s color barrier. Cubs outfielder Dave Sappelt is looking forward to that.
“It’s a day that everybody should respect and at least put some kind of thought to — even if you don’t agree with it — change is what America is about,” Sappelt said. “I think it’s an important day. It’s in the back of my mind and I’m grateful.”
As part of the pregame ceremony, Cubs Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Billy Williams will be recognized. Williams broke into the Majors not long after Robinson and Banks, and credits Robinson with being the pioneer who opened the door for all baseball players of color.
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., founder and president, Rainbow Push Coalition, will throw one of the ceremonial first pitches. Jackson gave the eulogy at Robinson’s funeral in Brooklyn, N.Y.
John C. McGinley will join Jackson for a first pitch assignment. McGinley stars as the Brooklyn play-by-play announcer Red Barber in the movie, “42: The True Story of An American Legend.” Barber was affectionately known as the voice of the Dodgers from 1939 to 1953. McGinley also will serve as the guest conductor for the seventh inning stretch.
Sappelt planned on seeing the new movie “42” which tells the struggles Robinson had to deal with.
“In school, they try to teach you about everything,” Sappelt said. “This is something important in history that everybody needs to know. It’s something I think everybody should know how the world once was, and the steps we took forward together. It wasn’t just black or Latin, Chinese, Japanese, it was everybody who took that step of acceptance. I think it’s definitely good.”
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs will honor the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier on Tuesday. All uniformed personnel will wear Robinson’s retired No. 42 in honor of the Hall of Famer.
“We’re happy to join all of Major League Baseball on this historic occasion,” said Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts. “Jackie Robinson is a true American hero, and we are all greatly indebted to his contribution to not only baseball, but to American history and culture.”
Nearly 50 “42” flags will adorn the Wrigley Field roof for the Cubs’ series opener against the Rangers. As part of the pregame ceremony, Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Billy Williams will be recognized. Banks shares a special kinship with Robinson as the first African-American to play for the Cubs. Banks considered Robinson a mentor during their time in the majors. Banks and Robinson also share the same birthday, Jan. 31.
Billy Williams broke into the Majors not long after Robinson and Banks, and credits Robinson with being the pioneer who opened the door for all baseball players of color.
Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., founder and president, Rainbow Push Coalition, will throw one of the first pitches Tuesday night. Jackson and Robinson were friends, and Rev. Jackson gave the eulogy at Jackie Robinson’s funeral services in Brooklyn, NY.
John C. McGinley will join Rev. Jackson for a first pitch assignment. McGinley stars as the Brooklyn play-by-play announcer Red Barber in the movie, “42: The True Story of An American Legend.” Barber was affectionately known as the voice of the Dodgers from 1939 to 1953. McGinley will also serve as the guest conductor for the seventh inning stretch.
After the game, Cubs Authentics will auction a game worn No. 42 jersey signed by all Cubs players and a flag from the roof of Wrigley Field. Proceeds will go to Chicago Cubs Charities.
The Chicago Cubs will host more than 300 Chicago Public School high school baseball players at Tuesday’s game in recognition of the celebration. Several CPS baseball players will be recognized during the pregame ceremony.
The Cubs close their three-game series against the Cardinals on Sunday at Busch Stadium, sending Paul Maholm to the mound. It’s Jackie Robinson Day, and all of the players will wear No. 42 in honor of the former Dodgers great who broke baseball’s color barrier. A Chicago win on Sunday would equal the total number of wins at Busch Stadium a year ago (the Cubs were 2-7 in St. Louis last year).
* Starlin Castro is one of 14 Cubs to record at least six stolen bases in April since 1921. He leads the Major Leagues in steals. The Cubs have swiped eight bases this year. Last year, they did not record their eighth stolen base until May 17, which was Game No. 40.
* Castro also has 22 games with three or more hits since the start of 2011. That’s the most in the National League in that stretch.
* Mahom is looking for his first win in his last eight starts. He has not celebrated a “W” since last July 10.
* Looking ahead to the Cubs series in Miami:
Tuesday: Ryan Dempster vs. Josh Johnson
Wednesday: Matt Garza vs. Mark Buehrle
Thursday: Jeff Samardzija vs. Ricky Nolasco
— Carrie Muskat
The Cubs and Mets are wearing No. 42 jerseys again on Monday to honor Jackie Robinson. Monday was the Mets’ first home game since MLB celebrated the 63rd anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier. The Cubs did so last Thursday at Wrigley Field.
— Carrie Muskat
Marlon Byrd gives his thanks to Jackie Robinson in the latest edition of the Byrd’s Nest. To follow Byrd’s blog, click on “More Headlines” at the bottom of the headline stack on the front of Cubs.com, and you should see his name in the middle of the page. Just click there.
— Carrie Muskat
April 15 is a special day for Hall of Famer Billy Williams.
“It really gives you a good feeling,” Williams said in the Cubs clubhouse before all the players donned No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, who broke the color barrier in baseball on this date in 1947.
Forty years after that, Williams was inducted into the Hall of Fame. The sweet swinging outfielder from Whistler, Ala., wouldn’t have had the opportunity to play in the Major Leagues or make it to Cooperstown if not for Robinson.
“When I look around and see the variety of players in the Major Leagues, all of it reverts back to No. 42, Jackie Robinson, who walked on Ebbets Field in 1947,” Williams said. “He made it possible that if you’re good enough, it doesn’t matter what color, origin, where you’re from, if you’re good enough you could play in the Major Leagues.
“When I look at ’42’ out there, that’s what I see,” Williams said. “I see the variety of players from different countries, different cultures, just enjoying themselves like they did when they were coming up as a young man. It gives you a great feeling.”
Williams, now a senior advisor on the Cubs staff, talked in his induction speech to Cooperstown in 1987 about how then commissioner Happy Chandler had to lobby the owners to let Robinson in.
“One of the statements Happy Chandler made when he talked to the owners was, ‘Fellas, one day, I’m going to have to meet my maker, and I don’t want to tell him I kept this guy out of the Major Leagues because he was black,'” Williams said.
“After I made my speech in New York [at the Hall], [Chandler] said, ‘A lot of people have talked about it and told the story but you’re the only one who got it right,'” said Williams, who received a long thank you letter from Chandler.
— Carrie Muskat
Derrek Lee is back in the Cubs lineup Thursday and will be wearing No. 42. So will everyone else on the field. The players and coaching staff wear No. 42 to honor Jackie Robinson’s contribution to the game. Also, rookie Tyler Colvin is starting in left, but Lou Piniella said don’t read anything into that. Colvin isn’t starting because Alfonso Soriano misplayed a ball on Wednesday; Piniella wants Colvin to get at-bats.
Here’s the lineup:
— Carrie Muskat