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Robinson Foundation member honored

Jackie Foundation member honored

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ARLINGTON -- Gabrielle Tyler, a graduate of Baylor University, was honored by the Rangers for her work with the Jackie Robinson Foundation before Wednesday's game with the Orioles. The presentation was part of the Rangers' celebration of Jackie Robinson Day.

Tyler, who is from Lufkin, Texas, is President of the Jackie Robinson Foundation Alumni Association. She is one of over 1,300 young men and women whose education was made possible by the Jackie Robinson Foundation's college scholarship and mentoring program.

Rangers manager Ron Washington and outfielder Marlon Byrd took part in the pregame ceremonies honoring Tyler.

"I don't think I can teach her anything but maybe she can teach me something," Washington said.

The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation is currently sponsoring Makenzie Hodge, a sophomore at Baylor and native of Longview, with a Jackie Robinson Foundation scholarship.

Every Rangers player, like all Major League teams, wore No. 42 for Wednesday's game against the Orioles in honor of Robinson and the 62nd anniversary of breaking the Major League color barrier.

"It's a day I look forward to," third baseman Michael Young said. "Every time I wake up in the morning, ESPN or MLB Network has something about Jackie Robinson. It's cool to listen to parts of the story again.

"I just think the man's passion for so many things other than just baseball is what impresses me. Everybody knows he's a Hall of Famer but he did so much in all parts of his life and not just in his career on the field."

This is the second straight year that the Rangers have all worn No. 42 on April 15 but it's still important to Byrd.

"It's unbelievable," Byrd said. "He's the guy I owe my baseball career to. My parents grew up in the Civil Rights era. Every prominent black figure -- Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King -- I knew about. When I started playing sports, they made sure I knew about Jackie Robinson."

Each Rangers player will sign his jersey to put on sale at the Majestic Grand Slam Gift Ship at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. All players will also sign one jersey, which will be auctioned off on MLB.Com with the proceeds going to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

The Rangers, along with radio stations KKDA and KRNB, also sponsored an on-air Jackie Robinson Day contest with local youth baseball teams. Ten players were selected and were introduced on-field as an honorary starting lineup.

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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