The White Sox celebrated Jackie Robinson Day (the day he integrated baseball on April 15, 1947) recently at the U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. The attendees were shocked to find out that Robinson had an independent streak and that he played in the Negro League Baseball style of play, instead of conforming to the major league’s traditional style.
Sonya Robinson Pankey, vice president of human resources for Ralph Lauren, didn’t know Jackie Robinson as the great baseball icon. She knew Jackie Robinson as “Grandpa.”
“When my grandfather passed away, I was 5 years old,” Pankey told rolling out. “I remember my grandfather being a family man, and I remember the love my grandfather had for me. So it was hard for me to talk about baseball because it was post-baseball, but what I do remember is the fond memories of the man and the love that he had for his family.”
An illustrious panel of Jackie Robinson experts, including White Sox and Chicago Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf and Sox General Manager Ken Williams, discussed fascinating facts about Robinson, including the fact that he was the first African American arrested because he would not move to the back of the bus.
photos: Zondra Hughes