The Detroit Tigers’ annual Jackie Robinson Art Contest seeks to educate and encourage young baseball fans on Robinson’s nine values: citizenship, commitment, courage, determination, excellence, integrity, justice, persistence and teamwork. At the April 20 Tigers home game at Comerica Park, the Tigers celebrated the winners of this year’s Jackie Robinson Art Contest, including grand-prize winner, 12-year-old Devin Mulligan from Saline Middle School.
Contest applicants were asked to submit an artistic expression that captured the spirit of one or more of Robinson’s nine values. As grand-prize winner, Mulligan received $1,500 and had his artwork featured on digital billboards on Jackie Robinson Day throughout Detroit, including the historic Fox Theatre Marquee, Little Caesars Arena and Bally Sports Detroit billboards. Second and third place winners Kyndall McMillion, 16, from Cass Technical High School; and Jackson Kennedy, 14, from Waterford Kettering High School, received $750 and $250, respectively.
An annual tradition, Jackie Robinson Day takes place the date of his debut in 1947. The day seeks to honor the legacy of the pivotal player who broke the color barrier in baseball’s modern era.
See each of the winning artists’ works and their own interpretations of them below.
1st place: Devin Mulligan: “I thought of ways to incorporate Jackie Robinson’s nine values into the drawing and I decided to use the words to make his uniform, hat, and bat. Jackie Robinson inspired me because despite how many times he got hate letters and was verbally abused, he kept pushing to be the best he could be.”
2nd place: Kyndall McMillion, 16-year-old from Cass Technical High School: “Jackie Robinson played major-league baseball during a time of segregation and faced many adversities on and off the field. These adversities caused Jackie Robinson to come up with nine values that he lived by in life. In this piece of art, I wanted to depict Jackie Robinson and all nine of his values. I drew Mr. Robinson holding his nine values in the shape of a bat because he held on to these values to make it in life. I had them stand out from the rest of the picture because these values are what made him stand out as a person. I feel that these values gave him the tenacity to overcome adversity and execute every swing that made him the legend that he is today.”
3rd place: Jackson Kennedy, 14-year-oldfrom Waterford Kettering High School: “My name is Jackson Kennedy. I’m 14 and I started drawing very early on. I learned about Jackie Robinson in school and learned a lot about his childhood and I know he stood for equality. To me as a person it means a lot because I’m transgender and its hard every day just like it was for him. We all have our struggles and at the end of the day, we are human and that’s what I try to express in my art and everyday life.”