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Rubio, Warnock, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Honor Jackie Robinson

Apr 15, 2024 | Press Releases

Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball, played his first minor league game at the then-named Daytona City Island Ballpark, in Daytona Beach, Florida. The site is a historic landmark that continues to honor Jackie Robinson’s legacy. 

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), and colleagues introduced the Jackie Robinson Ballpark Commemorative Site Act, which would designate the Jackie Robinson Ballpark as a National Commemorative Site and direct the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior to conduct a feasibility study to designate the site as a National Historic Landmark.

  • “Jackie Robinson wasn’t just a phenomenal baseball player; he was a trailblazer who broke barriers both on and off the field. In 1946, he played at the Daytona City Island Ballpark, where his courage transformed not only the sport, but also our nation. I’m introducing the Jackie Robinson Ballpark Commemorative Site Act to honor and protect the site where Jackie played his first game, and to remind us of the strength and impact one person can have on the world.” – Senator Rubio
  • “One of Georgia’s greatest, Jackie Robinson was a Hall of Fame baseball player and civil rights icon who helped move America’s favorite pastime forward and helped change the trajectory of our country with his talent, courage, and resilience. I am proud to be co-leading this bill that will help memorialize Robinson and share the historical significance of his life for generations to come.” – Senator Warnock

Senators Chris Coons (D-DE), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), and Rick Scott (R-FL) are original cosponsors. 

Representative Mike Waltz (R-FL) and Darren Soto (D-FL) introduced companion legislation in the House.

  • “Jackie Robinson changed the course of history forever on March 17, 1946 in Daytona Beach when he set foot in the then-named Daytona City Island Ballpark. Since that day, Daytona Beach’s ballpark has been a historic landmark and reminder of Jackie Robinson, the Civil Rights Movement, and the integration of modern professional baseball. We must preserve and honor Jackie Robinson’s legacy and the impact he had in Daytona Beach and across America. That is why I am proud to introduce this bill in Congress on Jackie Robinson Day with fellow Floridian Senator Rubio to protect and commemorate the Jackie Robinson Ballpark in Daytona Beach so it may live on for generations to come.” – Congressman Waltz

  • “I am thrilled to introduce this bill, honoring Jackie Robinson’s legacy by designating the Daytona Beach ballpark as a National Commemorative Site. It’s a vital step towards preserving his historic contributions. Jackie Robinson’s legacy is a beacon of courage, resilience, and equality. His groundbreaking journey through adversity not only transformed the game of baseball but ignited a movement for social change that continues to inspire generations worldwide.” – Congressman Soto