Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in his debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947 marking a milestone in baseball history. To celebrate this momentous event and keep the legacy of Jackie Robinson alive, the Tigers host the annual Jackie Robinson Art, Essay and Poetry Contest.
The contest is open to middle and high school students throughout the State of Michigan.
Students may enter the contest by submitting an original work of art, essay, or poem in honor of Jackie Robinson. The specific contest criteria are as follows:
ART:Create an artistic expression that captures the spirit of one or more of Jackie Robinson's Nine Values. Works of art may include a painting, drawing, or rendering.
ESSAY: Write an essay about a barrier that you have faced. Explain how you faced this barrier by using one or more of Jackie Robinson's Nine Values. Each essay should be at least 200 words long and not exceed 700 words in length, typewritten, single spaced, and limited to one page. Essays will be evaluated based on creativity, rhythm and flow of language, organization, attitude, personality, character, and the technique used to convey meaning. All essays must be factual and based on the student's real-life experience. Fictional stories will be disqualified.
POETRY: Write a poem that explores one or more of Jackie Robinson's Nine Values. Each poem should be typewritten, double-spaced and limited to one page.
To enter, students must submit their original piece of art, essay, or poetry by 5:00 p.m. Sunday, March 5, 2017. An official entry form must accompany each submission. Items may be mailed or delivered to: Detroit Tigers, Inc., Attn: Sam Abrams, 2100 Woodward, Detroit, MI 48201.
Contest winners will be honored during a special on-field, pre-game ceremony before the Tigers game on Tuesday, April 25, 2017. All participating schools that are able to provide transportation may apply for a donation of tickets to the game. To submit a formal request for tickets for your school, please contact Sam Abrams at 313-471-2363 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, March 17, 2017.
( Adobe Acrobat required. To view and print PDF files, you must download the free Adobe Acrobat Reader Installer file AND double-click the file to install Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer.)
Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life is a national literacy and character education program in partnership with Scholastic. The program uses baseball-themed activities to provide students of diverse backgrounds in grades four through nine with strategies to deal with barriers and challenges in their lives, while at the same time conveying the significance of Jackie Robinson's breaking Baseball's color barrier in 1947. A major component of the program is a national essay contest in which students write about overcoming these obstacles using the values demonstrated by Jackie Robinson: commitment, citizenship, courage, determination, excellence, justice, persistence, teamwork, and integrity.
Local contest winners, such as 2015 participant Debra Moraitis, attend a Tigers game, meet Sharon Robinson (daughter of Jackie Robinson) as well as Tigers players. For more information about the contest, you can visit here.
The Tigers were the first professional sports team to commit to the Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) Program and have recognized the program each season since 1992. Through the G.R.E.A.T Program, students work with law enforcement agencies and educators to learn the importance of becoming responsible members of their communities by setting goals, resisting peer pressure, learning how to resolve conflicts and understanding how gangs negatively impact the quality of their life. 40 students were invited to join Tigers infielder Ian Kinsler to discuss the G.R.E.A.T. Program. These students represented the 350 middle school students who graduated from the G.R.E.A.T Program in 2016.
Willie Horton's wife Gloria Horton and their granddaughter Alisha, along with Randy Ross of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan awarded the scholarship to this year's recipient, Tatiana King during a pregame ceremony.
The Detroit Tigers created an annual scholarship in 2000 in honor of hometown hero and former Tiger Willie Horton. Each year, a $5,000 schoalrship is awarded by the Detroit Tigers Foundation to a senior from Detroit's Northwestern High School, Horton's alma mater. Receipents of the scholarship are students who have displayed high levels of commitment to academics, leadership, character development and volunteer involvement.
The Detroit Tigers held a pregame ceremony to recognize this year's recipient, LaShay Hamilton.