See if you can make your way around the bases and find these four local sites that have connections to Jackie Robinson. Snap a selfie at each site. Then enter to win prizes (including a Jackie Robinson replica jersey, a Jackie Robinson bobblehead, and a Jackie Robinson baseball card)!
FIRST BASE: Rub Red’s Stone. In 1946, Jackie Robinson played several spring training games in Florida, the home state of Red Barber, the legendary sportscaster who called Jackie’s first MLB game for the Brooklyn Dodgers the following year. After retiring from the sportscasting booth, Barber moved to Tallahassee, where he made regular appearances on national programs.
Clue: In a park on Park, near three big churches, Barber’s memorial lies amid some well-clipped grass.
SECOND BASE: Find Due’s Shoe. In 1960, Jackie Robinson sent a letter of encouragement to some FAMU students locked up in the Leon County Jail for protesting segregated lunch counters. Led by Patricia Stephens Due, these FAMU students had refused to post bail, choosing instead to remain in jail to call attention to their cause. Along with his letter, Robinson sent journals for the FAMU students to record their thoughts during the civil rights movement’s first-ever “jail-in” – which ended up lasting seven weeks.
Clue: Due north of the Old Capitol, on the sidewalk leading to City Hall, Due’s shoe is waiting for you.
THIRD BASE: Salute Doby’s Brother. Several months after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color line in 1947, Larry Doby followed Robinson into the newly-integrated MLB. Similarly, not long after 1960s Tallahassee baseball star Fred Flowers became the “Jackie Robinson of FSU,” his sister, Doby, became FSU’s first African-American homecoming queen. Both Flowers siblings’ “Integration” are celebrated today here.
Clue: Near the Woodward Ave. lot, in the center of Legacy Walk, you’ll find FSU’s glorious Flowers.
THEN SCORE A HOME RUN
HOME RUN: Touch Home Plate. Prior to becoming the “Jackie Robinson of FSU,” Fred Flowers played in the first integrated youth baseball games in Tallahassee at Centennial Park. This historic ballpark, which also hosted minor league games and FSU football games, had stone walls that are now part of Tallahassee’s Cascades Park. And the ballfield sat only a dinger or two away from the old Leon County Jail where “42” sent those journals.
Clue: At the NW “hot” corner of Cascades Park, be sure to touch home after rounding third.
Bonus! Take a pic at the sign commemorating Robinson’s birthplace in Cairo and you’ll be a 42 Challenge MVP (with triple the chance of winning our prizes — you can also get a triple chance if you’re a member – or you become a member – of The Village Square – online here).
***“Funding for this program was provided through a grant from the Florida Humanities Council with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this (publication) (program) (exhibition) (website) do not necessarily represent those of the Florida Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.”