Yesterday was Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball. The day commemorated Robinson’s first game in the league 61 years ago. That day Robinson became the first African American baseball player to play in the league, and America would never be the same.
The number 42 became forever retired in Major League Baseball in 1997 – the 50 year anniversary of his debut. Those who were already wearing the number in 1997 when it was retired were allowed to continue to wear the number 42 until they retired. Today, Mariano Rivera is the only remaining player from 1997 to still wear the number 42.
Yesterday, 330 players and coaches took the field sporting the number 42. Nine entire teams wore 42 together; the Mets, Nationals, A’s, Rays, Dodgers, Cardinals, Pirates, Angels and Rangers. Other teams had a couple of players wear the number 42. Most feel having the players wear 42 is a great way to commemorate Robinson, but some feel it should be more organized.
I personally think it should be organized too, but I think that not just the Dodgers should be the only ones wearing the number as ‘Doc suggests in his Yahoo! blog. I think that is not fair to other teams, especially the Mets, because Robinson did play his entire career in Brooklyn after all – not in Los Angeles. I think that his other idea would be the best way; it would be to have each team assign two or three players to wear the number. The players can be voted on by their teammates.