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What's in a number?
This whole flap over 42 began so innocently, with Ken Griffey Jr. just trying to show a little respect and a little love for a man who changed baseball, forced America to take its first steps out of the civil rights stone age and made it possible for people like Griffey -- and, literally, millions of others -- to have the kind of life that they lead today. That's all it was supposed to be.
But now it's not just the Reds outfielder wearing No. 42 on Sunday in honor of Jackie Robinson. It's Griffey and more than 100 other players, including every member of the Astros, Brewers, Cardinals, Dodgers, Phillies and Pirates. It'll be a veritable convention of 42s on Sunday, a roundup of Robinson clones. On some fields, you won't be able to tell the players apart with a scorecard.
Garret Anderson, the Angels outfielder who knows more than a little bit about Robinson and his struggles in breaking baseball's color barrier 60 years ago , won't be wearing No. 42. He says he's not worthy. And now some people, like the Twins' Torii Hunter, wonder if all this bandwagon jumping doesn't dilute the whole purpose of Griffey's initial gesture.
"I think we're killing the meaning," Hunter told USA Today. "It should be special wearing Jackie's number, not just because it looks cool."
For one, special day a year, I don't think it's a big deal if everybody wears No. 42. In fact, that'd be something -- everyone with 42 on his back, a unanimous show around baseball for someone who left a unique and enduring impression not only on the game, but on the country.
But that's me. What do you think? Too many 42s? Not enough? And do you have a better way to celebrate Robinson's legacy?
posted by SI.com | View comments |
I think its terrible that someone like Barry Bonds will wear number 42. That is a disgrace to Robinson, what he stood for, and to the game itself. By allowing entire teams to wear the number, let alone Bonds, baseball is dilluting the purpose and meaning of the number and of the day.
Barry Bonds should wear the #42 til he retires
i think it's pathetic that everyone has jumpedo nthe 42 bandwagon...i do respect Griffey for doing, being that he was the first to call dibs, and the fact the Dodgers will wear it (and i'll be there to see it)...but other than that, teams that weren't even AROUND when he played that are wearing 42 is just a farce
...and the Red Sox should be the LAST to don 42
I think every player on every team should be wearing it. Here is why . . . Most adults on Sunday will know what the "42" symbolizes. We see Griffey on the field with 42 on his back and we know why and understand it is a tribute to Robinson. But a kid or someone who doesn't know who Robinson is, will see one player wearing 42 and it won't mean a thing to them. However, if a whole team wears the number "42", a kid or an adult who didn't understand or know about the meaning will ask why is everyone wearing that #. And they will gain some knowledge about not only baseball history but about US history.
You can't question the troubles and such that Robinson went through. Being the first had to be the toughest thing, especially in this country where race was, or is, still a hot topic. Having entire teams wear the number is not good. It is just another marketing tool. Buy a Pujols' 42 jersey, etc. Everytime honors Robinson everyday. Just look at the retired numbers section of every ballpark, you'll see 42 up there (although I wonder if Wrigley does that). But, what is next? 21 Day for Clemente, 3 Day for Babe Ruth, etc.?
I think that ONE player on each team should wear number 42, a player cchosen buy his peers, and the rest should wear a 42 arm band or shoulder patch. Everyone a 42 would look rather odd, but there is not much else that would be too great an honor for a very special MAN.
I think anybody who wants to wear 42 should be able to. regarless of race. it seem sto me that if you say only African American players cane wear 42 then isnt it just another form of segregation? Jacki Robinson made the game better for everybody not just African Americans.
One person from each team. That's it. Except the Yankees who would have two (Mariano wears 42 now)
The more people that wear 42, the better. If the entire sport wore it, it would be very touching (just like when all the Dodgers wore the number after Robinson had received a particularly nasty death threat). I appreciate Garret Anderson's position, but I think Torii Hunter's just upset because as more people wear it HIS contribution is diluted. It doesn't dilute the gesture overall.
It's not about Barry Bonds. It's about Jackie Robinson and his contribution to the society we have today! Everyone should wear #42, in my opinion. The players, the fans, the hotdog vendors, the president. It's a tribute to how far we've come and reminder of how far we have left to go.
I loved the whole idea until I heard Bonds was wearing it - Now, that ruins it for me. He probably doesnt even know who Jackie Robinson is.
I think Jackie would distance himself from Bonds the same way Hank Aaron has. Jackie and Hank had/have class and dignity, something Barry knows nothing about.
Mariano Rivera should be the only one wearing 42. He is the last player grandfathered in under the original terms of the retiring. To change the rules midstream would be a dishonor Jackie Robinson. The idea of a number being retired is just that. It's retired. Noone else will ever wear it again. It especially seems wrong to see dodger uniforms with 42 running around the field. I would nevr expect to see any of my Yankee retired numbers being worn on the field by any player for any reason. It defeats the intent of the retiring altogether. It even bothers me when I see retired numbers being used in game sequences in movies. It's just not right.
Barry Bonds should only wear 42 if it is the number assigned to him on his prison jumpsuit!!!
I saw before that mariano wears 42 for the Yanks...maybe on that team instead of 2 players wearing it. They should retire it and make him pick a new number. That would be pure respect.
I think it's an amazing thing that there are so many players who will be wearing 42. What a powerful statement to see nine 42s on a playing field.
the question of whether more or fewer players should wear no. 42 is irrelevant. doesn't everyone understand that players are simply trying to express their respect for the legacy of jackie robinson? it's the spirit that counts; the details are really not important, and squabbling over who should and should not wear no. 42 just detracts from the message at the heart of all this.
I'd agree with Tori Hunter. It would be nice if one player from each team maybe wore the #42, but not everyone on the team. That's not cool. Maybe if all the teams wore a patch, but not the jersey.
I like the idea of one player from each team wearing "42". However, what if a white player was chosen by his peers or the club? You can bet that there would be a huge uproar over that. It's a no win situation. MLB should have left well enough alone and simply had Griffey Jr. wear the "42". He is a classy veteran player who understands his position as a black player in baseball. Sometime doing less has more of an impact than trying to do everything!
Kudos for Ken Griffey Jr. wanting to wear number 42, just for what the number represents. I also understand why the Dodgers would want to go out and try to honor Jackie. But come on, Barry Bonds?!? The entire Houston Astros?!? Does this make any sense at all?!? I think that instead of having entire rosters wear the number, it should only be worn by select players, preferibly ones of color, but not a necesity, who go out, hustle, and play the game the right way, not juice up on steroids and act like a you know what to everyone around him. How about you only let guys like Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, Dontrelle Willis, and other professionals who bring similiar qualities that Jackie brought to the game in the 40's and 50's wear number 42, instead of making it available to anybody?
No. Blacks and whites should both wear 42 for this event. If there was anything Jackie stood for it was equality.
And I agree with the earlier commenter - if even one kid asks "why is everybody wearing 42?" and gets the history lesson, and it sinks in, it's worth it.
It's better than putting Spider-Man ads on the bases.
Charlie, U are an idiot. Barry Bonds and any other african american major league baseball player, if he wants should wear # 42 ! It is a display of total respect for a man who changed the game forever. For Jeff Conine it wouldn't have the same meaning to wear it, but I believe the fans understand their intentions. It's good for baseball and it's good for me. See U all on Sunday ... wearing our # 42 jersey's as well... and I'm a white guy !
I think that there are too many players today who do not really understand what Jackie Robinson did not only for baseball, but for this entire country. I think that it should be children's day at each ballpark, and a documentary should be shown about Mr. Robinson to educate all in the stands and on the field.
I still think it is a tribute to ex-Met Butch Huskey, who used to wear that number. Still think he should have lasted longer than he did.
I have no problems with the amount of people wearing 42. I understand Torii Hunter's fear and I respect Garrett Anderson's point, but I don't think you could ever water down Jackie Robinson's accomplishments by having five or six teams of 42s. We have come along way from when Vince Coleman said, "I don't know nothing about no Jackie Robinson". The more guys who want to wear the number, the better. And if you don't want to wear it out of respect for him, well, that's also fine.
griffey should wear it. only black players other than griffey should wear it, one per team. FINAL
I think that when everyone on my favorite team wears #42 on Sunday, it says while racism is not behind us, but we stand as one against it. Robinson is a hero to all races, and to anyone who finds disgust in discrimination. I think everyone should have a 42 on them on Sunday.
At first I thought it was over done a bit. But now that I think about it it seems very respectful for a whole team to wear 42. The more attention it brings to Robinson the better. If you single out one player of every team would that mean he is as good as Robinson? No, Robinson help change the way the nation looks a race. So everyperson should honor the great man. Also the fact that a white player would wear 42 to honor Jackie Robinson shows how far we have gone.
I think they should have waited until the 100th anniversary or 75th. Fiftieth anniversary they retired the number, but 60th? What's so special about 60?
Point I'm trying to get to: Every year on the anniversary is special so why only this one. If anything they should do this every year if they plan on it this year.
And to have Mariano Rivera forced to pick a new number is a completely bad idea. And I'm a Mets fan.
I think the team captain, or someone chosen by the players and coaches of each team should wear the number. It could be celebrated every year, where one player on each team is given the honor of wearing that number, to pay tribute to a special man in baseball and American history. Every team should be in action on that day, so every team can have one player pay tribute. There should however be ONLY one player per team. The entire team, while well intentioned, is ridiculous.
Jackie was total class but lets not forget that Jackie was the lucky one. There were greats in the Negro Leagues that never got the chance to walk on a Major league field. This is for them too. They paved the way. Barry should wear "42" and model his life after Jackie, Hank and his godfather... Wille. Just my opinion...
Mariano Rivera should get a new number, he shouldnt get to have a number that no one else got to have. Nobody should wear number 42 because you dont know if that's what jackie robinson would want, he might want his number to be unworn.
A very touching gesture is becoming too diluted. One player per team (plus Mariano) should be the limit. It's getting so prolific that I'm concerned we might even see John Rocker wearing number 42.
I think the fact that this much conversation about who should or should not wear the number is in itself a disgrace to the man who wore it. Jackie, as an icon proves that anyone, regardless of color, race, age, religion should be treated as equals in their pursuit of the american dream. Can you truly honor that ideal by placing guidelines on this event saying that ONLY 1 person, of ONE particular race or background, can wear 42 in honor of Jackie. I think Torii Hunter is just upset that he will not be the center of attention (that is why he's leaving a great situation in Minnesota after this season isn't it). Besides you don't hear Griffey complaining about others wanting to join in on this celebration. God forbid that we as humans should ever see someone else doing something good and attempt to emulate that in our own lives.
i don't think the Astros should wear the 42...they didn't even play when Jackie played...i think if whole roster wear 42, they should be teams that played in the 1940s and 50s...
I think the key is to remember what Jackie Robinson stood for, and what he went through, and what it meant to this country. If you had every player on every team wearing #42, how could you NOT talk about what that meant? Every highlight on the evening news sports, ESPN, in the newspapers, would be at least mentioning it. And that's the improtant thing.
This is ridiculous. The whole point of retiring the number is so that no one else can ever wear it. Allowing it to come out on special occassions is a disgrace. It goes against the purpose of retiring it in the first place. And if your kids need to know who Jackie is, Take them to a BALLGAME. They'll see the number retired on the wall, and you can tell them all about it.
You would never see the Yankees ever let anyone wear any of their retired numbers. And for the retard who thinks Mariuano Rivera should have to pick another number...you're a complete tool. Mariano represents everything that is right with the game. No need to discriminate against him b/c of his latin heritage.
As much as Barry Bonds does not deserve to wear the number #42, in reality, there is no way to say who can and can't wear the number for a day. I think another unbias tribute to Jackie Robinson is to start every game at 42-minutes past the scheduled hour in each time zone for all games scheduled on that day.
Why shouldn't everyone wear 42? Who's to say whether anyone is or is not worthy enough? Jackie Robinson was above everything else a great human being. Discriminating over the worthiness of someone wearing his number takes away from the main point; honoring his legacy and impact on baseball.
how about a little leaguer wear a classic Jackie uniform and bring out the scorecard? Griffey should wear it, because he has always weared it on Jackie Day. Rivera should wear it because he is the last one to have it grandfathered in.
I think it's a fabulous gesture that the entire Phillies team will wear 42. The Phillies organization was so nasty to Robinson in his first year that the Dodgers players actually started to accept Robinson after playing in Philadelphia. After all these years, maybe Philadelphia can finally say..Sorry.
I am African-American and I believe 1 person per team should be selected on the basis of their interpersonal skills and level of community service involvement, by their team: coaches and players, regardless of race. Mr. Robinson would probably want it no other way. All the Dodgers should wear #42 that special day.
Tori Hunter and Garrett Anderson are right on it...There will never be another Jackie Robinson, and to have so many people think they can even carry his jock-strap is deplorable...Keep the number in the closet, celebrate the man, and keep his character, and drive focused on Jackie...Not on all of these greedy idiots that think they are even close to Mr.Robinson.
I absolutely LOVE the idea of more players wearing #42 on Sunday. Not only do I love it, but I think baseball should allow this on every Jackie Robinson Day. It gives fans and everyone involved in baseball to teach their peers and the younger generations about Robinson's legacy and what he contributed to baseball and society. Shame on ANY ballplayer (i.e. Torii Hunter) for saying that this would dilute the legacy. I feel that Robinson's #42 serves as a reminder of what we've accomplished and what we still need to do. And remember, I'm saying all of this, despite being ONLY 23!!!
the best african american baseball player in the national league (statistically) should wear 42. The best african american baseball player in the american league (statistically) should wear Larry Doby's number. Jackie robinson wasnt the only african american that went throught hard times in the majors.
i think ken griffey jr could choose 1 player from every team except the reds cause he's the one representing 42 on the red because he had the idea of wearing 42
I think that Barry Bond's number should be 42* on Sunday.
I think it is great that baseball is showing it's pride and allowing players to wear 42.
I like the fact that not only full teams are doing it, but players of all races and backrounds. It shows how much of an impact that one man had on this world that people that are almost 50 years younger then him are thanking him for showing pride and respect for the right to be a baseball player. Jackie never was arrested for fighting in the stands, he wore a suit to the ballpark, never beat up his wife and broke his back on each and every play. He is a legend not because he was black but he stood for committement to the american dream. Men like him are slowly dying out in this world. If I was in the majors I would be proud to wear 42 for one day( I am a white Male)
Anyone that can find something negative with that I am sure had major issues with Imus's comments and tossed the young men that played for Duke right under the bus without knowing the whole story.
42 is NOT ABOUT RACE it is about showing class and respect in the face of adversity. Jackie Robinson is a legend.
All the players can wear the 42 if they wish. It glorifies Robinson, no one else. And Jackie deserves the glory.
Why criticize Barry Bonds. He's not famous for thinking of anyone but himself..and the honour to Robinson is a worthy act, even by a player thought unworthy by many.Diluting has one "l"
It's a retired number. No one should wear it.
Too many people are getting into this 42 thing. There should be a few select players on each team, and the Brooklyn Dodgers. That is it. There should not be entire teams, other than the Dodgers, wearing it. You lose its value.
Every person, that wears a number (including umpires), participating in a major league baseball game on Sunday, should wear '42.
You have to tip your hat to Griffey for being the first player to want to do this. As for everyone wearing this, i don't think that is a good agree with. i believe that one player from every team, voted by his peers, should wear the jersey, and everyone else on the team either wear and arm band or patch on their jersey.
MLB deciding just one player for team should wear #42 would be marketing. Ownership deciding their whole tem should wear #42 would be marketing. I think whoever wants to wear #42 should be able to, black or white. And the more the better. But it should be by their choice, not someone else's. When someone else decides for you, that's where the gesture falls flat. Like several others said earlier, if one kid asks why there are so many #42's, it's all worth it.
I think everyone should wear it. Why not? It's in honor of one of the sports greatest heroes, and someone who did so much for both the sport and the country. As far as Hunter is concerned I think he's just getting his undies in a bunch. Why shouldn't ALL the players be able to participate in honoring Jackie Robinson - after all his contribution was beneficial for everyone was it not? Only allowing certain players to wear it is just another form of elitism and that would be a terrible way to remember Robinson.
Torri Hunter is an idiot...who even mentioned that wearing 42 is cool. It is in memory of someone, a person, that broke the color barrier and made it to where people of all color can play the wonderful game. "42" should be celebrated every year and any player that wishes to wear the number can. The only way to keep a memory alive is to celebrate it as much as possible...there is no overkill here.
EVERYONE, regardless of race, should wear #42 on that day.
That's the whole point.
Equality in sports, equality in life, equality in opportunity. Thx-
i think an african american star for their respective team should be wearing the number 42. Having an entire team wear it dilutes the purpose.
to scotty- my point was that bonds is a cheater and a fraud and just generally a slime ball. him wearing the same number as Robinson offends me on so many different levels.
i understand that guys like Griffey and others are trying to show respect to Robinson and I respect that. still, despite Griffeys intentions, I really think it cheapens what Robinson stood for. with all due respect to Griffey and other honorable ballplayers, none of them have earned the right towear #42, even for one day.
The one thread running through every comment is how great Jack Robinson was & not just for breaking the color line. Instead of arguing about who, why or where his number should be worn, let's focus on the importance of his achievements, on the field & off. No one steals home like he did, in any number of ways.
When a member of a franchise dies there is a black band sewn on every players jersey.
When a nation is attacked there is a flag sewn on every players jersey.
When the players take the field on Sunday there should be a 42 sewn on the back of every players jersey.
You give respect where repect is due. It's that simple people!
anyone who wants to wear 42 should wear it... theyd be doing it to honor Robinson and his legacy. the number of people who wear it should not diminish what he did, period.
i think that it should be the players that want to wear NO.42 because then u got players on teams that have the 42 on and don't really care if they're wearing it or not but they have to because the rest of the team is.That would discredit the importance of Jackie Robinson and what he meant to the game and the country.
I do not understand why anybody would be critical towards any team or player for honoring such an individual as Mr. Jackie Robinson. For all of the teams that will be honoring him with the entire squad wearing the jersey only represents the level of respect and honor for Mr. Robinson.
As you read the comments regarding this topic, it is very clear that racism still exists as of today. Why should only the black community wear the jersey number (as described by one ANONYMOUS INDIVIDUAL)? That comment is a true reflection of racism, and was not the views of Mr. Robinson.
Although these words are just my opinion, I think that any baseball player that puts on his jersey with the number 42, only adds value to the history that Mr. Robinson produced and represented in this country.
I am a die-hard Astros fan, and quite frankly, I feel that all of the players have showed unity during a time when it is truely needed. That my friends is the way Mr. Jackie Robinson would have wanted it.
May God Bless you and your families.
The Bottego Family.
It seems to be the trendy thing nowadays. To pay respect for someone that has gone before.
I dont mean to disrepect Griffey for wanting to pay respect to the man who stood his ground and paved the way for Americans of all races to play ball.
What #42 did was special and unique, not just for his era, but for all time. It shuld be remembered as such, not a grandstanding ploy by MLB to cash in on Jackie Robinson's heroic place in baseball history.
Let his former team decides who can best represent Jackie Robinson, as it was they that also grew with America about learning about living with racial equality.
only one player still deserves to wear #42 and thats Mariano Rivera, no one else deserves the honor, such a great man shouldn't have his legacy tarnished by all these wannabes
I think only the Dodgers should wear #42. They were the team that made it possible. Also, Jackie Robinson's alma mater - UCLA - is just a short drive from Chavez Ravine, and this anniversary celebrates a breakthrough made possible by the great Dodgers franchise and the wonderful citizens of Los Angeles & New York (Brooklyn).
i think that it would look great if every player wore #42, but it would have to be every single player on every single team to work. it would be a great tribute to a great man. if it's not everybody then it should be one player per team. also it is a disgrace that someone like barry bonds will wear it, but i don't see what can be done
There is no way that the entire roster of the any team has the right to wear the number 42. MLB did'nt retire the number just to have it worn by every player on 6 teams plus some. I can understand if one player per team wears the number, but that does'nt mean they have to. Only players who have some how changed the league for the better in some way should be allowed to wear the number. What is being done this year is a disgrace and hopefully it won't happen agian.
1) Why does every stupid baseball discussion have to be immediately turned into a Barry Bonds discussion?
Do you people know Barry Bonds? Do you think he's just pure evil? Just because he's a crappy interview and a liar about cheating? That makes him pure evil? I love this black and white universe you guys live in. Let it go. This conversation has nothing to do with Barry Bonds.
2) It's a special moment celebrating a special man that changed society and baseball. Every player should wear it. It will draw more attention that way. It will also show symbolically how we have all (no matter what race or creed) benefited and evolved from the step Robinson took in 47.
3) This is something the head man, Selig, should have decided on a long time ago so we wouldn't have this stupid flap in the first place. When you have something this unique, you really need to plan this stuff perfectly.
Every player should wear #42 on Sunday.
Nothing original, but I believe that the more that wear the number the better. If it could be every player, better still. Deciding who is worthy takes the spotlight on who it is about and what was accomplieshed. Let everyone (myself included, I'll be at Dodgers Stadium) wear 42, it belongs to more than Jakie, it belongs to an evolving and improving nation.
ok, can every 1 leave Scarry bonds alone. this is about jackie Robinson. every 1 jumps on the band wagon of trashing bonds, wen he is not even guilty yet, which he probally is of taking the juice. but i think 1 person from each team would b the best bet.
those bashing bonds wearing the number are way off. bonds has an appreciation for the old league like few others. both he and griffey are sons of former players, both growing up hearing how great jackie was. he knows what it meant, even if you hate him. let your mind allow that those you don't agree with can share your heroes.
one player every team, selected by the manager and other ball players, is where it should have been left. i respect griffey for what hes doing, and how he went about it. ask for permission. that is a sign of respect. and i dont think it means any less with 150 players wearing the number, but if you want to do that go out on a stretch every MLB player wear 42
I don't believe that anyone can understand what Jackie Robinson (please capitalize his name!)had to to withstand in 1947. I'm OK with anybody wearing #42 on April 15, but please, do not allow anyone to profit from this tribute. There should not be any #42 jerseys for sale, except perhaps Dodger's jerseys.
I don't think Jackie Robinson should be singled out and have a special day! I guess we need to single out every 1st timer in every sport, business, political avenue, etc...nobody is bigger then the game itself. Jackie did not do baseball a favor, baseball did Jackie a favor. I feel sorry for him and the crap he went through with racism, hate mail, death threats, etc.. Don't forget, Henry Aaron went through the same thing, but nobody's giving him a special day...
Wow I can not believe how many of you don't get it!! Any one who mentioned Barry Bonds or what their own race is shouldn't even be aloud to watch the games on Sunday. This is about honoring one man in a very special way for what did to change the game and the country for EVERY person.
I just can't wait to listen to the announcers in the ballparks that day--"Now Batting, Number 42, Ryan Freel" "Now Pitching, Number 42, Doug Brocail" It's going to sound absolutely ridiculous.
The one good thing that will come of this is that all of the uniforms with the 42's will be auctioned off for the Jackie Robinson Foundation after their use. So, as far as that is concerned, at least there will be some good coming from it.
Come to think of it, that would be a good way for Baseball to do it. With the exception of Griffey (whose been doing it for years) and Rivera (for obvious reasons), have every player who wants to wear the number make a donation (say, $10,000) to that foundation to have the privilege of wearing the number. Maybe you grandfather the Dodgers in as well. I'm pretty sure that Griffey, Rivera, and the Dodgers would have no problem at all making those donations, though.
It is the anniversary of Jackie Robinson's stoic debut, and just one day out of the incredibly long season. I think it's very relevant that his team, the Dodgers, are all wearing his number.
So many players wear numbers to honor their heroes; Robinson's 42 should be no exception on such a special day.
Without Jackie Robinson, we might not have seen Larry Doby in the AL, or the players who followed after them. Baseball would be very different, because who knows how much talent we would have missed out on. Campanella? Mays? Hammerin' Hank? And these are just a few of the men whose play and presence made others around them better men, regardless of color. Anyone who wishes to honor Robinson and his enduring legacy on this one day should be granted the chance. I certainly would want to wear it.
--Michael M., Seattle WA
For a white player to wear #42 is deplorable, abominable, and out right wrong. What next? Have Imus broadcast the game?
I think it is a pretty nifty idea.
Although, I don't think it is necessarily going on the right way. I would prefer either every single person (player, coach, manager) should wear it, or only 1 person per team should wear it.
It is somewhat silly to have some entire teams wear 42, while on other teams it is simply the manager.
The idea that every ballplayer should wear #42 has accomplished one important thing -- it has generated discussion of Jackie Robinson and his great legacy. However, here's one hypo to consider: What if John Rocker was still in the league? Rocker wearing #42 would make my stomach turn a bit. How would Jackie Robinson feel about that? There surely are a relatively small few in the league who share Rocker's ideologies. How do we feel about those unknown few? I guess I will have to block my mind of such thoughts and enjoy the tribute to Robinson.
I am having real difficulties with the celebrations of the anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s acceptance into the all white MLB club. Quite simple for me it is like rewarding MLB for its bad behaviour. When MLB opened the door 60 years ago, it was a not an altruistic move it was an economic move. If Branch Rickey pockets were not being lined with huge profits the Jackie Robinson experiment would have been a non starter.
For years MLB denied Negroes (as we were know then) the opportunity to play along aside whites as equals on the diamond. Many of the white people at that time even believed that we were less than human and only useful as their servants or worse. Some still do. No matter how intelligent or talented we were, we were always been made to know our place. Step out of line is to risk a severe beating or the ultimate indignity of being lynched. For goodness sake!
On the off chance, we were ever given “an opportunity” to participate in the baseball games along the white players; we had to be mindful of what a great privilege for us to be there. As such, we had to make sure we behaved ourselves, be subservient, but not expect to enjoy the same privileges our white team mates enjoyed off the field. Regardless of all the inhuman treatments to which we had been subjected we had to be civil and appreciate the fact that were the lucky ones to have been invited into the club, - through the back door no less. We were expected to be a credit to our race. What patronizing rot!
Today, the MLB is so busy slapping itself on its back for its 60 year old “magnanimity” it is missing a great opportunity to do something truly socially significant. If it truly cared about Mr. Robinson’s legacy, it would notice that the number of African Americans in its club is steadily declining. To truly honour Jackie Robinson, MLB would be pouring monies into the inner cities to pay coaches, buy uniforms and develop proper diamond where the future Jackie Robinsons could be groomed to ascend to the mantle that he left behind. No amount of self celebrations can ever erase past wrongs. However, MLB can put its money where its mouth is and truly pay a lasting tribute to Mr. Jackie Robinson.
I like the idea of so many players wearing #42. What better tribute to a great player and a great man!
I think its a great idea for the players to wear number 42, in fact every single player should wear it on 4/15 to show just how special this man was to basball and civil rights. It should be an honor offered to everyone to show there support not just one person. Its not a bandwagon its people showing support for Robinson
Aside from the monumental social achievments Jackie Robinson accomplished, there is another important factor in baseball he can be credited with achieving. He helped change the color that truly dominates today's baseball to GREEN. If not for an African American named Curt Flood, none of today's players might be making the ridiculous amounts of money they make, regardless of their skin color. More importantly, if not for Jackie Robinson, Curt Flood may never have played baseball. Everytime one of today's players cashes a paycheck, they should say thank you to Mr. Robinson and Mr. Flood. You better believe every player not only should have the right, but should take part in the tribute of wearing number 42.
Either everyone in baseball should wear 42, or just have 1 on each team wear 42 (with maybe the entier Dodgers team wearing it no matter what).
As for the Bonds haters out there, why not think about what this day means instead of bad mouthing Bonds?
If teams want to sell 42 jerseys, how about all the profits from those jerseys go to the Jackie Robinson Foundation?
The idea that only black players should wear 42 is ridiculus. Robinson's play helped baseball see beyond the color of a players skin, so like others have suggested (and if only 1 person per team were to wear 42), how a player plays the game, not the color of their skin, should determine who gets to honor Robinson on this day.
I would like to see at the 75th and the 100th aniverseries, everyone with a number to wear 42.
Personally, I think that for people to celebrate and remember a man that not only broke the color wall in baseball, but, eventually, the sports world is a great thing. And, I don't mind seeing entire MLB teams wearing 42. It shows love for a man that had nothing but love for all ethnic cultures. I thought it was a nice gesture to see it on baseball, NASCAR Nextel (Juan Pablo Montoya showing respect on his 42 car), and in the NBA (Some players placed his name on his sneakers). It was done with class and with respect. That's what it needs to be done to remember this man because he respected the game and it's players, no matter the color of his skin or the language he spoke. It's all about respect. As for the 42 being overused or his name, as long as it is being used in a tribute of his work and his character, by all means, go for it.
I understand its an honor to wear 42 and its a good meaning for everyone to wear it. But I think only very few, certain people should wear 42. Like J-Roll, D-Train,Griffey Jr, C.C. Sabathia, Torii Huntter and others who have been talking about him alot. Also the whole Dodgers team.
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