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Ohio Wesleyan Student, Jackie Robinson Scholar to Throw Out First Pitch April 15 at Cleveland Indians Game

April 9, 2007

Alex Aguilar ’09
Ohio Wesleyan University student Alex Aguilar will return to the pitcher’s mound April 15 for a third appearance with the Cleveland Indians. Aguilar, a junior psychology major from Toledo, will throw out the opening pitch when the Tribe takes on the Chicago White Sox.

The day will be especially meaningful for Aguilar, as April 15 marks the 60th anniversary of baseball legend Jackie Robinson’s major-league debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Aguilar is the recipient of a Jackie Robinson Foundation college scholarship. He will join other Robinson Foundation Scholars in throwing out first pitches at major-league ballparks across the country that day.

“I’m honored to be representing the Jackie Robinson Foundation,” Aguilar says. “This is especially meaningful for me because my grandfather was considered by many to be a great ballplayer — good enough for the major leagues. He didn’t get the chance, though, because he was Mexican.”

Ohio Wesleyan’s ties to Jackie Robinson and Major League Baseball run deep. Robinson was signed to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers by Ohio Wesleyan alumnus Branch Rickey.

Rickey, a 1904 Ohio Wesleyan graduate, also is credited with drafting the first Hispanic superstar, Roberto Clemente, to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1999, Rickey was named ESPN’s most influential sports figure of the 20th century for helping to break baseball’s color barrier.

Founded in 1842, Ohio Wesleyan University is one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, dedicated to preparing students for a lifetime of learning, service, and leadership. Located in Delaware, Ohio, 20 miles north of the state capital, Ohio Wesleyan is a coeducational, residential, privately supported undergraduate institution. The university is ranked consistently by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top 100 liberal arts colleges and is featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives.” The faculty includes more than 135 educators, all of whom actively teach and hold either doctoral degrees or the highest recognized professional degrees in their fields. Approximately 1,850 students representing 44 states and 45 countries attend Ohio Wesleyan. More information is available at www.owu.edu.