That day is April 15th. It was on that day in 1947 that Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play in the majors, and broke the color barrier.
#42 for the Brooklyn Dodgers wasn’t just a ballplayer he was “the” ballplayer, the cream of the crop of the Negro Leagues, he was phenomenal. Robinson played 10 years for the Dodgers (1947-1956). He played in 7 All-Star Games, and 6 World Series (winning it all in ’55). He also was the rookie of the year in 1947, and won both the Batting Title, and MVP Award in 1949. Robinson was elected into the Hall of Fame 1962.
On th 50th Anniversary (1997) of his first game in the big leagues, Major League Baseball retired his number (#42) from all of baseball, so as no player ever would wear that number again. MLB followed that up with, on April 15th, players could wear #42 to honor Robinson if they wanted. Finally in 2009 MLB said that every player, coach, manager, and umpire were to wear Robinson’s number during the game.
I have a problem with this… First, it’s confusing all those 42’s on the field are ridiculous! Second, if you ask me not as respectful as one would think. Jackie Robinson changed the game (forever), during a very turbulent time in our country. He did it while playing at a very high level amid all the pitfalls he had to endure. He could’ve very easily folded up shop and said “I can’t do this, it’s not worth it” but he didn’t, and for that he gets one day?!
If Major League baseball wants to honor Robinson, and not just go through the motions, then they should have a patch on every uniform, every day, every game…they already do it for prominent players and coaches that have passed away during that season. Why not have #42 on every jersey for all time. Wouldn’t that be a better tribute? Why does visually honoring Jackie Robinson have to end on the 15th?