Texas Rangers’ starting pitcher Yu Darvish donated $42,000 or 4.2 million yen, to the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) on Wednesday. Receiving the check at a Tokyo presentation was Rachel Robinson, widow of Jackie, during her visit to the Japanese capital.
It’s no surprise that Darvish, who was born in Osaka, decided to donate $42,000 to the foundation. The number “42” has always been associated with Jackie Robinson, before New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. Robinson was the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball (MLB), breaking the colour-barrier in 1947 in America’s professional league. In 1997, the MLB retired the number 42, Robinson’s jersey number while playing for then Brooklyn Dodgers, in all of Major League teams. Mariano Rivera was the only exception as he was still wearing number “42” when the decision was made and carried out by MLB. Rivera, who retired this season, was also the last to wear the jersey number as a Yankee.
The Jackie Robinson Foundation was founded by Rachel Robinson in 1973 in honour of her husband, a six-time All-Star playing second-baseman for the Dodgers, to “provide generous four-year college scholarships in conjunction with a comprehensive set of skills and opportunities to disadvantaged students of color to ensure their success in college and to develop their leadership potential.” According to the foundation’s website, the JRF scholars have a 99% of graduation rate.
More than 1,400 students have already benefitted from the JRF. Darvish has also been generous with his donations to MLB’s RBI program and assistance to a 16-member youth Baseball team from Ishinomaki for the TOMODACHI Initiative in August last year. He also donated to the Equipment’s Drive in summer this year to help residents who suffered explosion and fires in Texas back in April.
[via The Republic]
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