COOPERSTOWN – The Baseball Hall of Fame board of directors today announced it has selected Rachel Robinson, Jackie Robinson’s widow, as the 2017 recipient of the John Jordan “Buck” O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award.
She becomes the fourth winner of the Buck O’Neil Award, established in 2007 to honor an individual whose efforts broadened the game’s appeal and whose character, integrity and dignity is comparable to the late O’Neil, who passed away in 2006 after eight decades of contributions to the game.
O’Neil was honored as the first recipient of the Award in 2008. Long-time executive Roland Hemond received the second in 2011, followed by Joe Garagiola in 2014.
She will received the award July 29, the Saturday of Hall of Fame Weekend.
Working with her husband during their 26-year marriage and after his passing in 1972, Rachel Robinson created the Jackie Robinson Development Corp. to build and manage housing for people of moderate and low incomes.
A year later, she formed the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which provides college scholarships and leadership training, and headed the Foundation’s Board of Directors until stepping down in 1996.
A career nurse who worked as a researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Department of Social and Community Psychiatry, Robinson has received honorary doctorates from nearly a dozen colleges and universities.