Every year on April 15, MLB and all 30 ball clubs recognize the legacy of Jackie Robinson. 42 is the only number that is retired throughout all of baseball, but on Jackie Robinson Day every player has the honor of wearing Jackie’s number. The Marlins saluted Jackie Robinson’s heroism and legacy with Marlins General Manager Michael Hill and MLB Hall of Famer Andre Dawson presenting a check for $4,200 to the Jackie Robinson Scholarship Fund, accepted by specials guest Norman Berman, bat boy of the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers, along with Carol Guerrero and Kyle Rhoden, Jackie Robinson Scholarship Alumni. Carl and Norman both threw out the ceremonial first pitch to start the game. Impactful interviews were played during the inning breaks with Marlins players and a few RBI kids, highlighting what it means to wear 42 and how Jackie Robinson journey still has an impact on their lives today.
On Friday, April 12th “42”, the life story of Jackie Robinson and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers, premiered in movie theatres nationwide. The Thursday before the biopic debuted, Warner Brothers held a private screening at Cobb Theatre in Dolphin Mall, where they extended a special invitation to the Miami Marlins. Marlins Catcher Kyle Skipworth and Marlins Infielders Chris Valaika were joined by Marlins charity organizations the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project and RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) Program, to enjoy the moving film. Before the movie, Marlins General Manager Mike Hill presented the Marlins annual contribution of $4,200 to the Jackie Robinson Scholarship Foundation, represented by scholarship alumnus Carol Guerrero. Joining Hill for the check presentation was Norman Berman, ball boy for the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers, along Miami Dade County School Board Members Dr. Wilbert Holloway and Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall.
On Sunday, April 14th the Marlins hosted a night at the movies, following the Phillies vs. Marlins home game. Marlins employees, joined by Ayudan Partner School children from Miami High School and the RBI Program, gathered at Muvico Theatres in Hialeah to view “42”. Special guest, MLB Hall of Famer Andre Dawson, grabbed some M&M’s to enjoy the biographical sports drama with the kids.
On Tuesday, April 13 the Marlins partnered with the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project to welcome five 5000 Role Models mentees for the Annual Take a Role Model Apprentice to Work Day. All of the high school senior mentees shared the day on the job with various Role Model Mentors while they performed their daily professional responsibilities, with the goal of exposing the Mentees to potential career opportunities. The Mentees enjoyed a behind the scenes tour of Marlins Park before sitting down with the Marlins in house Role Model Mentors, Derek Jackson, VP and General Council, and Mike Hill, Marlins General Manager. After a thrilling morning learning about the front office aspects of a professional baseball team, they all enjoyed lunch where they exchanged riveting stories about their lives at Harvard and shared much needed advice with the Mentees.
For more information about the 5000 Role Models of Excellence Project, please visit http://www.5000rolemodels.dadeschools.net.
Yesterday, Jeff Urgelles, Marlins Bullpen Catcher, hosted the second class of Compression for Life Program at the Boys & Girls Club of Miami Dade. With the help of the American Heart Association and Miami Dade College, over 100 kids were taught CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) compression techniques. To the tune of the song “Stayin Alive” by the Bee Gees the kids compressed the chests of test dummies. They also were taught how to use an AED (Automated External Defibrillator). Later, the kids engaged in physical activity to really get their hearts in motion, playing various games on the basketball court. As we ended the day’s session you could hear the kids singing the lyrics to their new favorite song, “Ah, ha, ha, ha, Stayin’ alive. Stayin’ alive”, as they head home for the evening. Next week, Jeff will present certificates to all the kids for participating in Compression for Life at the Celebration Party.
On August 20, 2012, while warming up for a road game in Arizona, Marlins Bullpen Catcher, Jeff Urgelles, heard a distress call of a young lady who had collapsed from cardiac arrest. Jeff and MLB Umpire, Jim Joyce, ran to her aid. They began to facilitate CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), as they waited for an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and the paramedics. While they waited for paramedics to arrive, they were able to sustain CPR and deliver much needed shocks from an AED. Once the young lady was transported to the hospital, doctors were able to regain a stable heartbeat.
The young lady’s name is Jayne Powers, an Arizona Diamondbacks game day employee. If it wasn’t for the quick thinking of everyone that day, she wouldn’t be alive today to share her story. When Jeff returned home, the Marlins honored him with a $5,000 contribution to start a CPR class for the kids of a local Boys & Girls Club. With the support of the Marlins Foundation, Jeff wanted to help spread awareness of the importance of CPR so more individuals can survive to share their stories.
The Marlins Foundation has partnered with the local American Heart Association to start the Compression for Life Program, a program geared towards teaching heart health and providing CPR and first aid training to the youth at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami Dade. Yesterday was the first day of the program. Over 80 kids joined Jeff, and his special guests, to learn about maintaining a healthy heart through exercise and eating right.