On what would have been the legendary player’s 100th birthday, the student athletes and their classmates had an opportunity to learn about Robinson’s many achievements, which included his time in school when he participated in track and field, basketball, baseball and football.
Prior to the game, Major League Baseball vice president of Community Affairs Thomas Brasuell spoke about Robinson’s influence in Brooklyn and beyond when he fought for equity and justice as the first African-American to play in the Major Leagues.
Beyond the parkway bearing his name, Robinson’s connection to Queens can be seen at Citi Field, in Addisleigh Park where he and his family lived briefly, and at Forest Hills High School, where the athletic complex was named after Robinson in 2004.
The $3.2 million renovation project was a collaboration between Major League Baseball and Take the Field, a nonprofit that refurbishes high school athletic facilities.
“Jackie made Brooklyn better, he made sports better, he made the country better and he made society better,” Brasuell said. “It nice to come back and check out the field and how the students are doing.”
He brought patches in honor of Robinson that each player wore on their jerseys for the game.
Brausell was joined by NBA great Nate Archibald and Borough President Melinda Katz, who declared January 31 as “Jackie Robinson Day” in Queens.
“Jackie Robinson was in the right place at the right time, but more importantly, he was the right person,” said Katz, who was serving in the Assembly when the Interboro Parkway was renamed for Robinson. “Remember that in your life someone reached down and lifted you up. You could have an impact on other people’s lives once you've made it.”