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The Atlanta Braves are bringing members of the Jackie Robinson Boys & Girls Club in Cairo to their ball park Saturday to help them commemorate the 72nd anniversary of Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier. The local youth club will later be the recipient of a monetary donation from the Braves Foundation.
The Braves are playing the New York Mets Saturday evening at their home field, SunTrust Park. Just getting there will likely be a thrill for the 45 club members and five chaperones. The Major League Baseball team is sending its own charter bus to Cairo to get them all to Atlanta and back.
“We are very excited,” exclaims Stephen Francis, club director. “The kids will get first class treatment.”
They’re even wearing matching t-shirts and caps, created by Ken Young Company here in Cairo, for the trip. The bright yellow shirts sport Robinson’s famous number 42 on the back with a Robinson quote below it, “A life is not important, except in the impact it has on other lives.” On the front of the tee is the local Boys & Girls Club’s logo. They will also have matching baseball caps or visors, Francis says.
Once they’re at the ball field, the Braves personnel will take the Cairo contingent to a special, reserved room. Francis says, “There will be refreshments and goody bags waiting for them.”
Robinson broke the color barrier on April 15, 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. In addition to treating the Jackie Robinson Boys & Girls Club to Saturday’s game, the Atlanta Braves will also pay tribute to Robinson on Tuesday, April 16, when they play the Arizona Diamondbacks, and both teams will wear Robinson’s number “42,” now retired from baseball.
The Braves will also give proceeds from Tuesday’s 50/50 Raffle to the Boys & Girls Club in Cairo. The 50/50 Raffle is new this season, according to the Braves Foundation website. Fans can purchase a raffle ticket through the 6th inning of each home game. One ticket holder will win half of the proceeds from that game’s raffle ticket sales and the other half benefits the Atlanta Braves Foundation. Proceeds from Tuesday’s raffle will be given to the Jackie Robinson Boys & Girls Club of Cairo and Grady County.