Tonight is Major League Baseball’s annual celebration of the brave and talented player who broke the game’s color barrier in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Tonight, everyone in baseball will be wearing No. 42 (even Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who’s allowed to continue wearing that jersey number because he was doing so before Commissioner Bud Selig decreed No. 42 retired in 1997).
Sometimes, a heartfelt sentiment takes more than 140 characters.
The O’s and Indians will be awash in No. 42 jerseys, creating a nightmare for unsuspecting photographers who count on players each having a different number to be able to identify who’s in their images.
The last Oriole to be issued No. 42 on something other than Jackie Robinson Day? That would be catcher Lenny Webster, who played in Baltimore from 1997-99, and was also grandfathered into being allowed to retain the number.
In conjunction with Jackie Robinson Day, MLB has created a new Web site, IAm42.com, to honor his legacy and is encouraging fans to tweet their thoughts about Jackie RObinson using the hashtag #MLBIAM42 in their posts. The MLB Network will air a new documentary, “Letters From Jackie: The Private Thoughts of Jackie Robinson,” on Saturday at noon. The program, which chronicles Robinson’s involvement in the civil rights movement, will be hosted by Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson and narrated by Dennis Haysbert, who played the enigmatic slugger Pedro Cerrano in “Major League.”