NEW YORK — Forced from the field by the new coronavirus, Major League Baseball is moving its annual celebration of Jackie Robinson online.

The Jackie Robinson Foundation is launching a virtual learning hub to coincide with today’s 73rd anniversary of Robinson breaking the major league color barrier.

CC Sabathia and Harold Reynolds are among the former major leaguers reading excerpts from the book by Robinson’s daughter, Sharon. She will appear in video vignettes and there are virtual and printable educational activities.

Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier on April 15, 1947, for the Brooklyn Dodgers and his No. 42 was retired throughout the major leagues in 1997 by then-Commissioner Bud Selig. An annual Jackie Robinson Day started in 2004. Since 2009, all players, managers, coaches have worn his No. 42 to mark the day.

The MLB Network will air Robinson-related programs from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. followed by Ken Burns’ two-part documentary on Robinson. plans Jackie Robinson-related programming from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and DJ Envy will host an Instagram set from 6-8 p.m.

The 1955 World Series film of the Dodgers’ only World Series title while in Brooklyn will stream starting at 6 p.m. on MLB’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitter English-language sites and its Spanish-language Facebook and Twitter sites.

2018 World Series MVP Pearce retires

BOSTON — Steve Pearce, the career journeyman who broke loose to become the unlikely MVP of the 2018 World Series, says he’s done playing after an injury-plagued season for the Boston Red Sox.

Pearce made the announcement Monday night on WEEI while the Boston radio station aired a replay of the 2018 World Series opener between the Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers. He 1分11选5平台red and hit a three-run double in Game 4, then 1分11选5平台red twice the next day as the Red Sox took title.

Pearce, who turned 37 on Monday, was hurt most of last season and didn’t play after May 31. He became a free agent after the season.

No Golden Spikes Award this year

There will be no Golden Spikes Award this year, ending a streak of 42 consecutive seasons.

USA Baseball made the announcement Tuesday. It followed the NCAA’s decision to cancel spring sports seasons due to the new coronavirus. Past winners included future NL MVPs Buster Posey, Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant. Bob Horner was the first Golden Spikes winner in 1978.

BASKETBALL

Richards joins Kentucky’s draft caravan

LEXINGTON, Ky. — Kentucky forward Nick Richards will enter the NBA draft and forego his final season of collegiate eligibility by signing with an agency.

The 6-foot-11 junior is the fourth Wildcats starter to turn pro. He’s coming off a breakout season in which he was named a first team All-Southeastern Conference selection by The Associated Press and league coaches. His per-game scoring average increased 10 points from his sophomore season to 14.0 while starting 30 of 31 contests to help the Wildcats (25-6) earn the SEC regular-season.

HOCKEY

Former Blackhawk Versteeg retires

Two-time Stanley Cup-winning forward Kris Versteeg is retiring after 11 NHL seasons. The 33-year-old announced his decision through the NHL Players’ Association on Tuesday, and after ending this season playing with his brother, Mitch, with Slovakia’s HK Nitra.

Versteeg was a member of the Blackhawks’ championship teams in 2010 and ’15. He described the winning the Cup in 2010 as the highlight of his career, coming during a postseason in which he had six goals — including two game-winners — and 14 points in 22 games.

He spent five seasons over two separate stints with Chicago. He played his final NHL game with Calgary in March 2018, before spending much of the past two years in Europe.

FOOTBALL

Chargers sign pair of former XFL players

COSTA MESA, Calif. — Donald Parham Jr., who led XFL tight ends in yards and receptions, has signed a multi-year contract with the Los Angeles Chargers, the team said Tuesday. The Chargers also announced they had signed offensive tackle Storm Norton to a multi-year contract.

Norton played for the Los Angeles Wildcats of the XFL before the league ended midway through its season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league filed for bankruptcy earlier this week. Parham had 24 receptions for 307 yards and four touchdowns for the Dallas Renegades. Parham was also the only tight end in the league to have a 100-yard receiving game.

COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Cincinnati drops men’s soccer

CINCINNATI — The University of Cincinnati eliminated its men’s soccer program Tuesday as other colleges weighed cutbacks because of budget problems resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

College are grappling with revenue losses from spring sports cancellations, including the NCAA basketball tournament. Eliminating sports is considered a last resort by athletic directors who face difficult choices.

Earlier this month, Old Dominion eliminated wrestling as part of its response to the pandemic. Cincinnati athletic director John Cunningham expects other schools to face similar choices because of the uncertainty over fall sports, including football.

Leagues ask NCAA to relax D-I requirements

Five FBS conference commissioners have asked the NCAA to relax some requirements to compete in Division I for four years, including the minimum number of sports a school must sponsor.

The letter from the commissioners of the American Athletic Conference, Mountain West, Mid-American Conference, Sun Belt and Conference USA to NCAA President Mark Emmert also asked for temporary relief from requirements regarding financial aid, average football attendance and scheduling. The request was made on behalf of all Division I schools.

The Associated Press