Ohio Wesleyan to Celebrate Branch Rickey-Jackie Robinson Legacy Immortalized in New Film Starring Harrison Ford, Chadwick Boseman

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Branch B. Rickey

Branch B. Rickey

DELAWARE, Ohio – Ohio Wesleyan University will celebrate the release of the national feature film “42” with a series of campus and community events commemorating the Branch Rickey-Jackie Robinson legacy – a historic collaboration that ended racial segregation in Major League Baseball and helped set the stage for the U.S. Civil Rights movement.

The new film stars Harrison Ford as 1904 Ohio Wesleyan alumnus Branch Rickey and Chadwick Boseman as Jackie Robinson. The Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures film was written and directed by Academy Award® winner Brian Helgeland, who also wrote “L.A. Confidential.” It opens across the country April 12.

Ohio Wesleyan’s Rickey-Robinson “42” celebration will include an art exhibit, two Battling Bishop baseball doubleheaders, and a roundtable discussion on the state of baseball today. The discussion will feature Rickey’s grandson, Branch B. Rickey, a 1967 OWU graduate and president of Minor League Baseball’s Pacific Coast League, and Bob DiBiasio, a 1977 OWU graduate and senior vice president of public affairs for the Cleveland Indians.

Events currently scheduled for Ohio Wesleyan’s Rickey-Robinson celebration include:

  • 4 p.m.-5:30 p.m. April 12 – Baseball roundtable featuring Branch B. Rickey of Minor League Baseball’s Pacific Coast League and Bob DiBiasio of the Cleveland Indians. This event will be held in Phillips Auditorium inside Phillips Hall, 50 S. Henry St., Delaware. It also will be streamed live online at http://streamowu.edu. OWU Director of Athletics Roger Ingles will serve as moderator as the group discusses baseball today.
  • Noon April 13 and noon April 14 – Ohio Wesleyan’s Battling Bishops baseball team takes on Denison’s Big Red in noon doubleheaders. All four games will be played at OWU’s Littick Field, 199 S. Henry St., Delaware. Admission is free. Learn more about Battling Bishop baseball at http://battlingbishops.com.
  • 2 p.m. April 13 – The Strand Theatre’s public premiere of “42,” starring Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman. The film tells the heroic story of two men “whose brave stand against prejudice forever changed the world by changing the game of baseball.” The Strand is located at 28 E. Winter St., Delaware. For complete show times and ticket prices, visit http://www.thestrandtheatre.net.
  • April 5-April 27 – “Play Ball: Branch Rickey & Jackie Robinson.” A special art exhibit including photographs from David Levinthal and Jim Dow. Levinthal is known for photographing toy figurines in studio settings, including a realistic recreation of Jackie Robinson stealing home during his Brooklyn Dodger days. Dow has created breathtaking panoramic images of baseball stadiums around the country. “Play Ball” also will include vintage Branch Rickey memorabilia including letters, newspaper clippings, and magazine articles. The exhibit will be held at the City Art Center, 22 E. Winter St., Delaware. The center’s gallery is open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is free. Learn more about the center at http://cityartcenter.org. 

For more information about the Branch Rickey-Jackie Robinson legacy, including Rickey’s history as an Ohio Wesleyan student and coach and how those OWU experiences shaped his life, visit http://rickeyrobinson.owu.edu.


Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s premier small, private universities. Ohio Wesleyan offers more than 90 undergraduate majors, sequences, and courses of study, and 23 NCAA Division III varsity sports. OWU combines an internationally focused curriculum with off-campus learning and leadership opportunities that connect classroom theory with real-world practice. Located in Delaware, Ohio, OWU’s 1,850 students represent 41 states and 45 countries. The university is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” listed on the 2013 President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with Distinction, and included on the “best colleges” lists of U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review. Learn more at www.owu.edu.

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