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Jackie Robinson Art, Essay and Poetry Contest


This year, instead of our traditional program, we encouraged our local schools and students to participate in Major League Baseball's league-wide "Breaking Barriers" contest. This was the 20th anniversary of this program, and we hope you were able to join this effort that celebrated the inspirational influence set by number 42, Mr. Jackie Robinson.

The 2016 MLB Breaking Barriers Essay Contest was open to all students in grades 4 through 9. This was a chance for students to submit an essay about barriers or obstacles they have faced or are currently facing in their lives and how they used the values exemplified by Jackie Robinson (citizenship, commitment, courage, determination, excellence, integrity, justice, persistence and teamwork) to deal with those challenges.

For more details on the contest, please download the flyer pdf file or visit The deadline for all entries to be either mailed or submitted digitally was Monday, March 14, 2016.

Prizes for winning entries included trips to the 2016 MLB All-Star Game in San Diego, laptops, classroom visits by Jackie's daughter Sharon Robinson and more. In addition, the Pirates provided two (2) complimentary tickets to a 2016 home game (based on availability) to all students who submitted an essay and the school with the most entries won a "Pirates Day" at their school!

Should you have any questions, feel free to contact Joel Gray at (412) 325-4966 or

For more information on Jackie Robinson and his impact on Major League Baseball, please visit