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Pasadena's MVP: 'Jackie Robinson' screening and conversation

Thursday, April 14, 2016, 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Rufus Mead Auditorium John Muir High School 1905 Lincoln Avenue Pasadena, CA 91103 Map and directions
circa 1945:  A portrait of the Brooklyn Dodgers' infielder Jackie Robinson in uniform.  (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
circa 1945: A portrait of the Brooklyn Dodgers' infielder Jackie Robinson in uniform. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Hulton Archive

KPCC In Person and PBS SoCal co-presented a screening of Ken Burns’s documentary “Jackie Robinson” on April 14, the eve of Jackie Robinson Day across Major League Baseball. The screening took place at Robinson’s Pasadena alma mater, John Muir High School, where a new baseball field was recently built by the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation through its Dreamfields program. Following the screening, Off-Ramp’s Kevin Ferguson moderated a conversation with Kevin Baxter, sportswriter for the Los Angeles Times; Nichol Whiteman, Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation executive director; and Mark Langill, Dodger team historian. They all shared thoughts on Robinson’s legacy:

Kevin Baxter at John Muir HS

Kevin Baxter:

“Today, 38 percent of MLB players are minorities: They’re Asian, Latin-American or African-American. That wouldn’t have happened without Jackie. How many great players would we not have been able to see if it weren’t for Jackie Robinson? That is the effect we’re still feeling today.”

Nichol Whiteman at John Muir HS

Nichol Whiteman:

“I did not grow up learning at the dinner table from my parents about Jackie Robinson, but, at the age of 18, I received a Jackie Robinson scholarship to go to college, and from that day my life has been changed—completely changed.”

Mark Langill at John Muir HS

Mark Langill:

 “This whole thing with Jackie Robinson did not end in 1947. It’s still alive today with the Jackie Robinson [Foundation Scholarship]. Remember what happened after 1947: Brown v. Board of Education, the army was desegregated, Rosa Parks stepped up and decided not to go to the back of the bus. A lot of things happened that Jackie set in motion.”

For more about the the legacy of baseball and Jackie Robinson at John Muir High School:

With a new field, Jackie Robinson's former baseball team hopes to win again

Photo credit: Quincy Surasmith/SCPR