On Sunday, November 10, 2019, at the Whittier College Memorial Chapel, 160 attendees enjoyed a very special event in celebration of the Jackie Robinson Centennial, presented by the Institute for Baseball Studies and the Baseball Reliquary. Included was a performance of Stealin’ Home, Bobby Bradford’s tribute to Jackie Robinson, commissioned by the Baseball Reliquary. A renowned jazz musician, bandleader, and composer, Bradford is also noted for his long career as an educator, teaching jazz history and improvisation for over three decades at Pasadena City College and Pomona College. Bradford’s jazz suite was performed by an all-star ensemble featuring Bobby Bradford (cornet), Vinny Golia (woodwinds), Chuck Manning (tenor saxophone), William Roper (tuba), Don Preston (piano), Henry Franklin (bass), and Tina Raymond (drums). Following the performance, Joseph L. Price, co-director of the Institute for Baseball Studies, hosted a conversation with Bobby Bradford, which included a Q&A with the audience.
Los Angeles-based wordsmith Michael C Ford, a legendary figure in the Southern California literary landscape since the 1970s, opened the program with a reading of his poem about the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers, “From Flatbush to George Bush,” originally commissioned by the Baseball Reliquary in 2004, and concluded with a poem dedicated to Thelonious Sphere Monk.