April 16, 2008
For the second consecutive year Major League Baseball recognized April 15 as Jackie Robinson Day. As part of this celebration commissioner Bud Selig “un-retired” Jackie Robinson’s number 42 and allowed any player or coach to don this uniform to pay tribute to this civil rights leader. Last year the Arizona Diamondbacks played at home and several players gladly elected to wear number 42. Those players included Tony Clark, Orlando Hudson, Chris Young, and Eric Byrnes. First base coach Lee Tinsley also wore the number to pay tribute to Robinson. I happened to be at that game and can truthfully say that it was awe inspiring to see these players wearing that number. Robinson was such an amazing person and the event of him playing in the major leagues was both historic and in ways frightening. To read accounts of what he had to endure just to play baseball is heart wrenching. After my experience last year I was eagerly awaiting Jackie Robinson Day to once again see how baseball would pay tribute to probably the most important event in the history of organized sports.