Young San Diego-Area Baseball Players Look to Continue Jackie Robinson's Legacy

75 players from three San Diego schools celebrate Jackie Robinson Day together at Petco Park

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Among the thousands of baseball fans and players honoring the memory and legacy of Jackie Robinson, who broke MLB's color barrier 75 years ago, will be a group of 75 young men taking in Friday's game at Petco Park.

The students from Morse High School, Lincoln High and San Diego High are the beneficiaries of an effort by the Young Black and N’ Business (YBNB) organization to celebrate and continue Robinson’s legacy with the next generation of leaders.

“Honestly? I was amazed. I was like, ‘Oh, Morse High School, Lincoln, San Diego. We’re all going as a community?’” smiled Morse Sophomore Alex Leyva.

YBNB's founder, Roosevelt Williams III, hopes the students will see more than just a game between the Padres and Braves.

“They’re going to see opportunities and I believe opportunities breed success, unlimited amount of success,” Williams said.

“Jackie Robinson is a big staple in my life,” said Morse senior Michael Chapman. “I just have a big appreciation for what he’s done for our community.”

“Right now, I wouldn’t be with Mike Chapman. It’d be way different,” said Leyva. “Just to be a part of this big movement is just a great thing.”

Williams said he hoped the teenagers would keep Robinson’s legacy alive.

“It’s a sense of fulfillment. It’s identifying solutions instead of discussing problems,” he said.

Leyva and Chapman said they believe they are still working toward a solution for inequality.

“We love to come out here and play baseball,” explained Chapman. “We can share a field together and treat each other equally. So, why not do that out in the real world, out on the streets.”

“It’s my lifestyle,” added Leyva. “I’m around everybody. I love everybody. Talk to everybody.”

Now, they want to include everybody, equally, whether they’re from Morse, Lincoln, or San Diego High.

“We’re going in the right direction,” concluded Leyva.

Williams said the Tony Gwynn Legacy Foundation and several small black-owned businesses helped purchase the tickets for the 75 high schoolers.

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