Saturday, April 16, 2011
Hear me out first...
OK here comes the part people won't like. I remember back on April 15, 1997 Ken Griffey Jr. decided he would change to #42 for a day to honor Jackie. I thought the idea was outstanding for the 50th anniversary of Jackie coming into the league. Also on that day, commissioner Bud Selig pronounced that all teams would immediately retire #42. As a caveat, all players that were currently wearing the number could continue to wear it and when all those players retired, no one would ever wear it again. The only current player to still wear 42 would be Mariano Rivera. Once Mo's gone, that's it for the number. Why is it that for the last few years the league has decided to diminish the meaning, history, and honor of #42? I feel like trotting all players and coaches out in 42's kind of takes away from the specialness of the number.
Jack Roosevelt Robinson went through in 1947 to change the history of the game for the better, I don't think the overuse of his number every year is the right thing to do. I like the idea of trying to do more education at ballparks the day to help people know about Jackie's life. I think that kids should have to read his autobiography "I Never Had It Made" or "Opening Day" in school to educate them on what racism and prejudice is.