April 12, 2023
Photo: Laura Wolff / Charlotte Knights
Jackie Robinson made his Major League Baseball debut in front of 26,623 fans at Ebbets field on April 15, 1947, and since 2004, MLB has celebrated Robinson on that day with all players, coaches, and managers wearing the number 42. On Saturday, the Charlotte Knights will honor the 76th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the Major League Baseball color barrier against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Triple-A affiliate of the Miami Marlins) all donning the iconic number.
In addition, Ray Banks, a Negro Leagues historian and ambassador will bring an exhibit from his Hubert V. Simmons Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Baltimore to display all weekend at the ballpark. Named after the late Negro Leagues pitcher and outfielder, Hubert V. Simmons from Tarboro, North Carolina, the exhibit will be set up on the concourse featuring historic photos, baseball gear, and artifacts. Michael Webb, a local Negro Leagues historian will also be on hand to share his knowledge with fans along with filmmaker Ashleigh Gilliam, the director of Toni. Mamie. Connie., a film about three women who played in the Negro Leagues.
Sunday will also be a historic day for baseball in Charlotte as the Knights will take the field as the Charlotte Black Hornets, a Carolina Negro Leagues baseball team that played in Charlotte from the late 1910s to the 1950s. For the first time ever, the Knights will wear Charlotte Black Hornets uniforms (redesigned from historical photos) for the 1:05 p.m. game on Sunday. There will be a limited amount of Charlotte Black Hornets merch (jerseys, shirts, hats, and baseballs) available at the Knights Team Store and online this week.
Sunday’s game will also be the annual tribute to former Negro Leagues player and long-time Charlotte resident, Eddie G.G. Burton, who passed away in October of 2018. His family, wife Gaile, and son Tony, will be honored during the pre-game festivities.
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The Charlotte Knights celebrate Jackie Robinson Day Saturday, April 15 at 6:05 p.m. against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp and take the field wearing the Charlotte Black Hornets uniforms on Sunday, April 16 at 1:05 p.m.