Jackie Robinson broke the MLB color barrier in 1947, and ESPN announced a wide-ranging plan Tuesday to honor the 75th anniversary of that historic achievement. The centerpiece of ESPN’s effort is Jackie To Me, a forthcoming ten-part short-form documentary series which will premiere on April 4th.
Beginning April 4, ESPN will premiere a short story video each day, culminating with the final debut on the April 15 anniversary date. The 10+-episode Jackie to Me series, will feature newly conducted interviews with prominent athletes & public figures speaking about Robinson’s many legacies and lasting impact across generations. Tim Anderson, Bobby Bradford, Ruby Bridges, Chuck D, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Billie Jean King, Willie O’Ree, Robinson’s son David and more are among the Jackie to Me interviewees who share personal reflections and stories.
The videos will debut across SportsCenter, Get Up and First Take – with a full day of content across shows on the April 15 anniversary date. After that, the videos will continue to be showcased across ESPN’s MLB and studio programming, as well as ESPN Audio content and the network’s YouTube and social media channels. The series will also be accompanied by a written piece on ESPN.com.
In addition, ESPN will be on-site for the opening of the Jackie Robinson Museum in New York City this July:
On July 26, the Jackie Robinson Museum will open at One Hudson Square in New York City, unveiling a 19,380 square foot space to the public featuring 4,500+ artifacts, 40,000 historical images and 450+ hours of video footage exploring Robinson’s unwavering commitment to social justice and equal opportunity.
ESPN’s signature morning debate show First Take, with Stephen A. Smith and host Molly Qerim, will be live from the Jackie Robinson Museum, welcoming a full lineup of special guests in person throughout the show. Live reports from the museum will also be seen across editions of SportsCenter throughout the day.
There’s apparently more to come, as well. In addition to celebrating Robinson’s anniversary accomplishment, ESPN mentioned a desire to honor his wife, Rachel, who turns 100 in July. The Front Row piece behind the scenes of Jackie To Me is definitely worth reading, too. Jackie Robinson means an impossible amount to many, many people, and reading the creators of this series describe why they wanted to do it is the best kind of powerful.