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FredNats to observe 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking MLB color line with Germanna scholarship winners

When Sharon Robinson, Jackie’s daughter, visited Sunshine Ballpark in Fredericksburg in 2016 to talk to Germanna Community College Gladys P. Todd Academy students from James Monroe and Spotsylvania high schools and to Sunshine Baseball League players, she discussed the importance of education and developing character.

“I talk about my dad’s character because that’s something I feel could be helpful,” she said. “Whether you’re a 10-year-old or a major leaguer … life is filled with obstacles and you have to deal with them.”

For the third year in a row, the principles Jackie Robinson believed were critical will be the focus of deciding the winners of five $1,042 Jackie Robinson Essay Contest scholarships for classes at Germanna. The winners will be announced on the 75th anniversary of Robinson breaking Major League Baseball’s color line at the FredNats game on April 15 at Virginia Credit Union Stadium, located at 42 Jackie Robinson Way. As a boy, FredNats owner Art Silber befriended Robinson in 1947 in Brooklyn.

The contest is open to juniors and seniors at high schools in Germanna’s service region (the counties of Culpeper, Stafford, Spotsylvania, Orange, King George, Madison, and Caroline, and the city of Fredericksburg).

The essay should be 500 words or less and explain how the student used one of the nine values Jackie Robinson said were key to his success in the face of extreme challenges to deal with a problem in their own life:

Courage, determination, teamwork, persistence, integrity, citizenship, justice, commitment, and excellence.

“It takes structure to succeed in life, and the structures we give young people are values that we associate with my dad’s success on and off the field,” Sharon Robinson told the crowd in Fredericksburg in 2016.

Sharon Robinson said her father was chosen by Branch Rickey, then the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, in large part because of his character, trusting him to handle the challenges he would face in integrating baseball with mental toughness and dignity.

The deadline for essay contest entries is April 7. Go to germanna.edu/42essay/ to enter.

Sharon Robinson said her father was chosen by Branch Rickey, then the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, in large part because of his character, trusting him to handle the challenges he would face in integrating baseball with mental toughness and dignity.

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