Reporting Ron Matz
LINTHICUM, Md. (WJZ)— Several hundred Anne Arundel County high school students attended a special movie screening Thursday morning, one with an important message.
Ron Matz has more on a life lesson from “42,” the Jackie Robinson story.
They came from 12 high schools in Anne Arundel County to Hoyt’s West Nursery Cinemas for a special screening of “42.”
“We are hosting 300 students from Anne Arundel County Schools. Twelve different schools are here. They’re JV baseball and softball players who are attending the private screening,” said Monica Barlow, Baltimore Orioles public relations director.
“I don’t think they have any idea what he went through. They might know his name. They don’t know the perils he went through, the sheer every day pressure he was under. I think they’ll see that in this movie,” said Greg LeGrande, Anne Arundel County Schools athletics coordinator.
The discussion continued on the school buses en route to the theater: Robinson breaking the color barrier, his impact on baseball and American society.
“Jackie Robinson was a trailblazer, not only that he was a gentleman all the way through in the midst of a time when people were trying to sink him,” LeGrande said. “There’s a growing feeling they may not know this story. This is a pretty important story. The story for me not only transcends sports but transcends our American culture.”
Thursday’s screening is courtesy of the Orioles and Major League Baseball.
“You can’t overstate the impact Jackie Robinson had not only on baseball but on society in general. This movie is a perfect opportunity to expose to a new generation of younger kids who may not know about Jackie Robinson and the impact he had,” Barlow said.
A younger generation, getting a life lesson from the big screen about a baseball and an American hero.
“He fought for what he came to be, one of the greatest players in baseball. And he paved the way for African-Americans, and that’s why I’m proud to come to this movie today,” said Kyle Brooks, Arundel High sophomore.
“It’s very inspirational,” said Erica Partner, sophomore at South River High School. “We can go on the field. He had to deal with all that, and we don’t have to deal with that.”
To mark Jackie Robinson Day last month, Orioles players and coaches wore Robinson’s number 42 jerseys. The jerseys were then auctioned online and raised more than $23,000 for the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation.