On April 15, 1947, baseball and the larger world we live in changed forever. When Jackie Robinson suited up for the Brooklyn Dodgers for the first time on that famed Tuesday, he went hitless through all three of his at bats. However, in the grand context of his story and legacy, it was likely the most successful day in the history of sport. Breaking the color barrier in baseball, Robinson’s actions penetrated deep into American society, had a profound impact on the elimination of the segregation practices black Americans faced daily, and provided fuel to the civil rights movement that promised to change the moral fabric of the United States forever. This momentous impact, which Robinson cultivated through his resolve, actions, and performance, still continues to have an unmeasurable positive effect on and off of the baseball field.
As a company that prides itself on innovation, excellence, and its promise to disrupt “the way things are”, Robinson is not just one of our inspirations, but also one of our greatest heroes. His performance on the field speaks for itself. Throughout his career Robinson maintained a batting average of .311, hit 137 home runs, batted in 734 runs, and was crowned a six-time all-star, two-time stolen base leader, MLB rookie of the year, and world series champion. However, as deafening as those career statistics may seem, the ballad of Robinson’s impact off the field will always sing louder.
The statistics and awards are impressive, but it is undoubtedly Robinson’s steadfastness, commitment, and desire for change that we and generations past, present, and future will continue to remember and cherish the most. The home runs, the batting average, and the world series title made Robinson a hall of fame baseball player, but his impact on and off the field made him a hero.
Reflecting on Robinson and his legacy, has inspired us to partner with another baseball legend in the making. JP Crawford currently plays shortstop for the Seattle Mariners. While we're sure you already know a thing or two about his resume, such as his recent designation as the 2020 Gold Glove recipient, you might not know how greatly Crawford has been impacted on and off the field by the life and actions of Robinson. When asked about this impact, Crawford, a descendant of interracial parents started off by stating, “without him I probably wouldn’t have been born, he broke barriers that were larger than baseball.” Later when talking about Robinson, Crawford also stated that he was deeply affected by Robinson’s courage. “ I know I couldn’t do what he did. He got so much hate [thrown] towards him for no reason... to want to play baseball. That man changed the course of history... BY HIMSELF! He took on what so many people can’t even bear to take on a piece of.”
To honor this courage and one of our joint heroes, Leovici and JP Crawford are proud to present that this year, on Jackie Robinson Day (April 15th), we will be dropping our limited edition Leovici x JP Crawford “42'' hoodie. The garment will feature a black and white portrait of Robinson, which will be printed on our bone colored hoodie, and will be manufactured using luxury American materials. While we know that no garment, no matter how greatly it is manufactured, can live up to the legacy of Robinson, we are deeply honored that the Leovici name will be paired with one of its greatest inspirations.
The impact Robinson has had on the Leovici brand, identity, and company cannot be overstated. This impact can be directly seen in the way we communicate with our audience, the time and effort we give to every product, and in our continued desire to push the boundaries of the menswear discourse. The impact Robinson has had on Crawford continues to be reflected in his words, admiration, and love for the man who forever changed baseball and life as we know it. This impact can be seen on and off the field through Crawford’s performance and conduct. The standard set by Robinson has led us to the decision to donate profits from the “42” hoodie to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
The limited edition Leovici x JP Crawford “42” hoodie will only be available for a limited time. So, if you want to snag one you will want to act quickly. Whether you purchase one of our hoodies or not, both we and JP Crawford hope that you will join us on April 15th to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day and honor one of the greatest heroes the world has ever known.