Although the turnout of African Americans may have been less than expected, the ones that did attend appeared to have had a great time. Pittsburgh Police Zone 5 officer Derek Williams took and evening off from his civic duties, along with wife Layla and son Joshua to honor the Jackie Robinson and the Pirates. Layla Williams said, “we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and expressed thanks to Chaz Kellem and the Pirates for providing the tickets.” As far as the little ones were concerned, five year old Bucc’ fan Maureace Snead Jr. and his “nana,” Youth Director from Calvary Baptist Church on the “hill,” Reverend Eileen Robinson” arrived at the ballpark early ready for some baseball. Reverend Robinson said that in her youth she was a “pretty good softball player.”
Out of the almost 4,000 entries submitted in the art, essay and poetry categories, only 17 winners emerged. This group of young scholars seemed to revel just being on the hallowed ground of “their Pittsburgh Pirates” as one participant so excitedly put it. Jackie Robinson day should always be signified as a day for remembrance, celebration and the hope of future accomplishment because as most of us know that is what he stood for and what his legacy continues to stand for today.