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04/05/07 2:21 AM ET
Dodgers to celebrate Robinson
All players to wear No. 42 on April 15 against the Padres
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- After extensive deliberations, the Dodgers decided to have their entire team wear uniform No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day in tribute to the late Hall of Famer who broke baseball's color barrier while wearing Dodger Blue. "Jackie Robinson was a Dodger and the most fitting tribute the Dodgers can pay to him is for the entire team to wear his number on the 60th anniversary of his breaking the color barrier," said Dodgers president and vice chairman Jamie McCourt. The Dodgers made the original gesture of having their entire team wear No. 42, and now three teams -- the Cardinals, Phillies and Pirates -- have followed suit. Major League Baseball will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Robinson's first game on Sunday, April 15. Robinson's legacy will be honored in each of the 15 ballparks games will be played, with the celebration culminating at Dodger Stadium when the Dodgers host the Padres in a nationally televised 5:05 p.m. PT game. Rachel Robinson, Jackie's widow and the founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and Commissioner Bud Selig will be on hand at Dodger Stadium for the ceremony, which will be carried live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes and XM Satellite Radio. Joining Rachel Robinson for the ceremony is expected to be daughter Sharon Robinson, along with several of Jackie's former teammates, including pitchers Don Newcombe and Tommy Lasorda. MLB retired No. 42 in all of baseball on the occasion of Robinson's 50th anniversary in 1997, but it was "unretired" by the Commissioner's proclamation for the day on Sunday. The Dodgers took that idea and ran with it, putting that number on the back of every member of the team. "Obviously, Jackie was a player who changed the game," said Luis Gonzalez, a first-year Dodgers player, when asked about the club's gesture. "He opened up the culture barrier for a lot of players. The stuff that he had to go through opened the door for all minorities to be able to play in this game." The day before all the festivities take place at Dodger Stadium, Dodgers Juan Pierre and Marlon Anderson will conduct a clinic at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton, making it a full weekend of celebration of Jackie Robinson's legacy. "That'll be a good deal," said Pierre. "This is a good tribute, a good way to honor Jackie Robinson, to wear the same uniform he wore."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.