Granderson to join Robinson forum

Granderson to join Robinson forum

Curtis Granderson has paid tribute to Jackie Robinson once this year. He was one of six Tigers to wear No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day on April 15.

That was Granderson's way to get the message to people while he was on the field. Now he has a chance to further that message away from the field.

Granderson will join former Tiger Gates Brown, broadcaster Ernie Harwell, Della Britton Baeza (president and CEO of the Jackie Robinson Foundation) and Lawrence Hogan (author of "Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the story of African American Baseball") in a forum celebrating the 60th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball.

The free event, which is open to the public, will take place on July 21 at noon ET at the Anderson Theater, located within the Henry Ford Museum. Tickets are available the day of the event beginning at 9 a.m. in the museum's IMAX lobby. The program is scheduled to last two hours.

While Granderson has plenty of knowledge about Robinson's history, the event will put his knowledge in front of a live audience for the first time.

"It's going to be different," Granderson said. "I've talked about [Robinson breaking the color barrier], I've tried to educate others about it as I continue to educate myself, but to actually have a discussion about it, this will be the first time."

Capacity at the theater is listed at 600 seats and Granderson has already heard buzzing from people who plan to attend.

"I've had a couple of fans come up to me and say, 'Hey, we're going to be there at the Henry Ford Museum on the 21st,'" Granderson said. "And I'm not sure if it's going to be more of the fans coming to see players, or the fans coming to learn, so I really honestly don't know. It definitely should be a good thing."

Regardless of people's intentions for attending, Granderson said he will relish the chance to talk about the opportunities Robinson provided for all minorities in baseball.

"Who it is, we're talking about Jackie Robinson, and the breaking of the color barrier in baseball. He allowed not only African-Americans play baseball, but Dominican players, Puerto Rican players, Japanese players, Mexican players ... to get a chance to play," Granderson said. "[This event is meant] to go ahead and acknowledge and give thanks for opening that door."

The Saturday event will be just one part of the Negro League Weekend in Detroit. From 11 a.m.-noon ET on Friday, a plaque will be dedicated in honor of the Detroit Stars outside of Comerica Park at Gate C.

On Saturday, Negro League players will be available for autographs in the Comerica Park concourse from 5:30-6:30 p.m. There will be an on-field ceremony for the Negro Leagues before the game against Kansas City. Both Detroit and Kansas City will wear replica Negro League uniforms during Saturday's 7:05 p.m. game.

Tim Kirby is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.