PODCAST: We talk with producer/director and Toledo native Andre Gaines on The History Channel’s “After Jackie” which premieres June 18

The HISTORY® Channel sets the premiere date for its new two-hour documentary “After Jackie” on Saturday, June 18 at 8PM ET/PT and during the 75th anniversary year of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball. Executive produced by UNINTERRUPTED’s LeBron James and Maverick Carter, Emmy Award® winning and Academy Award® nominated filmmaker Stanley Nelson (“Tulsa Burning: The 1921 Race Massacre,” “Attica”), critically-acclaimed producer and director Andre Gaines (“The One and Only Dick Gregory,” “The Lady and the Dale”) and in association with Major League Baseball, the documentary tells the often-overlooked story of the second wave of talented Black baseball players after Jackie Robinson, including Bill White, Curt Flood and Bob Gibson, who were up next in the fight for racial equality. “After Jackie” honors these brave men and sheds light on the heroic story of how they stepped to the plate and put their lives on the line to integrate baseball and demand a fairer and more inclusive America for African American athletes around the world. 

When did Jackie Robinson start playing Major League Baseball?

On April 15, 1947, a young Jackie Robinson started at first base with the Brooklyn Dodgers, marking the first time a Black man played in the modern Major Leagues and breaking the color barrier in the sport. Robinson’s incredible accomplishments on the field are even more remarkable when combined with the enormous obstacles he was faced with while achieving them – fighting against segregation, racial discrimination and standing up for the rights of African Americans everywhere. However, when the Hall of Famer retired to continue his efforts off the field, there was still much work to be done in baseball and players including Bill White, Curt Flood, and future Hall of Famer Bob Gibson picked up where Jackie left off. The relentless efforts and sacrifices of these brave men would eventually advance the status of Black players on and off the field, send the league toward greater roster integration, and force the sport of baseball, and the country, to change for the better.

What part of baseball history does “After Jackie” cover?

After Jackie” delves deep into the untold stories of White, Flood and Gibson who refused to let the color of their skin determine the boundaries of their successes and whose resolute determination and tenacity marked a new standard of acceptance and inclusivity within the sport of baseball and ultimately around the world. The film features new and rare interviews with White and Gibson, before his untimely passing, as well as former and current baseball players such as CCSabathiaMookie Betts, Ken Griffey Jr., Joe Torre, Dave Roberts, Al Downing and Tim McCarver, renowned sports journalists, and unlimited access to Major League Baseball’s expansive media archive chronicling more than a century of baseball history, as well as rarely seen Jackie Robinson footage, to help tell this important story.

Additionally, The History® Channel is supporting the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s Scholars program as well as creating robust education guides for schools in conjunction with “After Jackie.”

After Jackie” is produced for The HISTORY® Channel by UNINTERRUPTED and Firelight Films in association with Major League Baseball and in collaboration with The Jackie Robinson Foundation. LeBron James, Maverick Carter, Jamal Henderson and Philip Byron are executive producers for UNINTERRUPTED. Stanley Nelson is the executive producer for Firelight Films. Andre Gaines is executive producer and director. Eli Lehrer and Jim Pasquarella are executive producers for The HISTORY® Channel. Nick Trotta is the executive producer for Major League Baseball. Matthew Rissmiller is the co-executive producer for UNINTERRUPTED.

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