GRIFFEY, JR., OTHERS TO WEAR NUMBER 42 AS PART OF
JACKIE ROBINSON DAY TRIBUTE
Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. called Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig and received permission to wear uniform Number 42 on Sunday, April 15th to honor Jackie Robinson on the 60th anniversary of his Major League debut, it was announced today.
Commissioner Selig has expanded the gesture and extended an invitation to all Clubs to allow any of its members to wear Number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day, April 15th, as a tribute to Jackie and the history he made on that day 60years ago.
“This is a wonderful gesture on Ken’s part and a fitting tribute to the great Jackie Robinson and one, I believe, that all Clubs will eagerly endorse,” Commissioner Selig said. “To make this happen, I gladly will temporarily suspend the official retirement of uniform Number 42 on that day.
“Jackie continues to be an inspiration to all of our players, and his impact will be felt for as long as our game is played. I thank Ken for finding another special way to mark Jackie Robinson Day.”
On April 15, 1997, the 50th anniversary of Robinson’s entry into Major League Baseball, Commissioner Selig announced that Robinson’s Number 42 would be retired throughout baseball and would never again be issued to on-field personnel.
"If it weren't for Jackie Robinson, I wouldn't be able to put on the uniform I'm wearing today,” Griffey said. “He should be an inspiration not only to baseball players but to anyone who fights prejudice and hatred."
Each of the 15 games throughout Major League Baseball on April 15th will feature festivities to honor Jackie Robinson. The national celebration of Jackie Robinson Day will take place at Dodger Stadium on April 15th with a VIP-filled reception and on-field ceremony prior to the game between the San Diego Padres and Los Angeles Dodgers. The ceremony and game will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes at 8:00 p.m. (ET) and will also be carried on XM Satellite Radio. Among those participating in the festivities will be Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s wife and founder of The Jackie Robinson Foundation; their daughter, author Sharon Robinson; several of Jackie’s former teammates; baseball executives and civic and industry leaders; Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars; and winners of the Breaking Barriers Essay Contest.