Daytona Beach, FL - The Daytona Tortugas announced their plans for Jackie Robinson Night this morning, on the 71st anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier by playing in his first integrated game in Daytona Beach.
On Saturday, April 15th, the Daytona Tortugas will take the field at Jackie Robinson Ballpark, united by the Number nine. April 15th, designated Jackie Robinson Day throughout the United States, is widely celebrated throughout both Major and Minor League ballparks. Since 2009, all of Major League Baseball has worn the Number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day.
Daytona Beach was the first city in Florida to allow Jackie Robinson to play during the 1946 season, a year before his Big League debut. When Jacksonville and Sanford said no, Daytona Beach said yes to Jackie. While playing in this game, Jackie wore the #9. Therefore, both the #9 and #42 jerseys have been retired at Jackie Robinson Ballpark, renamed after him in 1989.
For the first time ever, Minor League Baseball has granted the entire Daytona Tortugas team permission to wear number 9 on Saturday, April 15th, 2017. While all of Major League Baseball, and select Minor League teams, don the #42, Daytona will stand alone once again with the number nine. The night will include a National Anthem performance by The Bethune Cookman University Choir, local HBCU, located here in Daytona Beach, FL. In 1946, Dr. Bethune played an integral part in pushing the City of Daytona to have Jackie visit and helped host him here.
The Tortugas will be giving away replica t-shirt's to the first 1,000 fans celebrating the night. The night will be concluded with a Fireworks Show to celebrate where we stand 71 years later.
Today we celebrate the 71st anniversary of when Jackie Robinson first played on the same field that the Tortugas will take on April 15th, 2017.
Saturday, April 15th, and Jackie Robinson Night is part of the Opening Weekend Extravaganza that plans to be a historic weekend at Jackie Robinson Ballpark. Opening Night is Thursday, April 13th, and national entertainment act Fur Circus visits the Jack. On Friday, April 14th, we "Pack the Jack" with our Friday Night Done Right series on Superhero Night, with team debuting Superhero Jerseys and first 500 kids in attendance receiving a superhero cape. Both Friday and Saturday feature post-game fireworks shows to celebrate the Opening Weekend. This memorable Opening Weekend concludes on Easter Sunday, with a 1:05 start time. The fun continues, however, with a post-game helicopter candy drop on the field for all kids in Volusia County to enjoy for their Easter-Egg Hunt.
Do not miss the action, get your tickets now by calling (386) 257-3172 or visiting www.daytonatortugas.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.