A Kid and a Baseball Legend
Ron Rabinovitz was eight years old when he first met his hero Jackie Robinson at a Milwaukee Braves/Brooklyn Dodgers game in Milwaukee in 1953. Jackie and Ron maintained a one-on-one close relationship and friendship from that time on.
Ron's story is of a kid, his larger than life hero, and the lessons he learned. His story is that of dreams coming true, mutual respect, and "paying it forward". It's a beautiful story of a friendship between a baseball legend and a boy. Ron shares the poignant, emotional, and heartfelt letters that provide a unique insight into Jackie Robinson's soul.
Ron has shared his amazing story with corporations, business organizations, and school children throughout America. As one corporate executive said, " Yours is a story that only happens in dreams".
Ron has been featured on The MLB Network Documentary "Letters from Jackie", The National Baseball Hall of Fame, USA Today, CBS Evening News, ESPN, CBS Radio, NPR's "The Story" with Dick Gordon, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, and Los Angeles Times. His story has also been made into a play written by Oscar winning author Eric Simonson.
“It is a real testimony to Jack, because Ron is so specific about what he felt, what he learned and what his intensions were of carrying on Jack’s name. Jack lives through people like Ronnie.
There’s an intimacy that is unusual. There are so many things about it. There’s the generational thing, the racial thing, the religious thing. Even a child relating to a man that way.
The fact that two strangers could come together that way is really extraordinary.”
"I know that the visitors to the museum were truly inspired by your presentations and your story. Your story is a unique and special way to bring a special side of Jackie Robinson to children today."
“Ron speaks from the heart in a unique way that engages audiences. His story is emotionally moving and contains important themes around mentorship and the impact we can all make by “Paying it Forward.”
“I have returned to your presentation in my mind many times. It was very moving. You have such a wonderful gift in communicating Jackie’s personal warmth.”
Director of Museum Education, National Baseball Hall of Fame
"Everyone will benefit in different ways by hearing Ron Rabinovitz tell his story about the surprising bond between a man and a boy."
VIRGINIA BLAKE WEST
Brand Development Director, Unilever Corporation
"Ron's story inspired our visitors to understand the great character and integrity that both Ron and Jackie exemplified in their lives."
PROFESSOR MICHAEL LONG
Author of numerous works on Martin Luther King Jr., and the book “First Class Citizenship: The Civil Rights Letters of Jackie Robinson
"After hearing you speak, clearly Jackie Robinson knew what he was doing when he passed the baton to you. You have carried it wonderfully well."
"Ron is an amazing speaker. The passion he has is presented in such a way that you can feel the effects his relationship with Jackie Robinson had on him as well as so many others.
CBS Radio News
President, National Baseball Hall of Fame Museum
St. Paul Heart Clinic
“Just wanted to thank you again for sharing your time and incredible stories with our kids today. On the bus ride to Columbia, we were discussing how cool it must’ve been for you as a kid. You’re a very generous and passionate person. That passion is evident to everyone who hears you speak. Keep spreading the good word.”
Coach, Anderson Monarchs
Prudential Insurance Company of America
“When we began the search for a speaker, we considered a variety of people with completely different backgrounds. But we were won over when we met Ron. He was kind, personable, genuine and enthusiastic and his story was so much bigger than we anticipated. We were drawn in by the world he shared with us—a story of friendship with a famous baseball player and SO much more. We didn’t realize the great impact that Jackie Robinson’s life had not only on the ball field but in the changing political landscape and the national conversation around civil rights. His story is worthy of being told. And who better to share that story with us than Ron Rabinovitz, a man who had a front row seat to watch history unfold.”
Adult Enrichment Coordinator, District 833 Community Education, South Washington County Schools
On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball's color barrier when he appeared in his first pro game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Halfway across the country, in the small city of Sheboygan, WI, a little boy named Ronnie Rabinovitz watched Robinson's career take off and dreamed of one day meeting his hero.
>> READ MORE >>
Ron Rabinovitz has been featured on Larry King Now, Fox Sports, CBS, MLB Network and others.
Take a closer look at his incredible story with Jackie Robinson.
"Letters from Jackie-Private Thoughts of Jackie Robinson" (MLB Network)
Larry King Now: Jackie Robinson's Pen Pal Ron Rabinovitz
Ron Rabinovitz on KARE News - April 12, 2007
Ron Rabinovitz and Letters from Jackie
Jackie Robinson and The Kid
Jackie & Me: Ron Rabinovitz on CBS News
Jackie Robinson Feature with Ron Rabinovitz on Fox Sports
Ron Rabinovitz National Baseball Hall of Fame Interview
Always, Jackie - Ron Rabinovitz on Jackie Robinson at Cooperstown
History Theatre: The Incredible Season of Ronnie Rabinovitz
In 1960 the town of Sheboygan, WI was an unlikely intersection of politics, civil rights, and baseball when Jackie Robinson and John F. Kennedy were guests in the Rabinovitz home. This world premiere tells the remakable story of an ordinary 13-year-old boy – Ronnie – who happened to be friends with two extraordinary men: his pen pal, baseball legend and civil rights advocate Jackie Robinson, and Senator John F. Kennedy, who was running in the Wisconsin Presidential Primary at the suggestion of his friend and vocal supporter David Rabinovitz, Ronnie’s father.
Sharp wit, humor, Midwestern sensibilities, politics, and baseball light up the stage in this new play by Eric Simonson, writer of the Broadway hit Lombardi.