In the spirit of recognizing and celebrating Jackie Robinson Day, the Pros showed their respect. All of major league baseball joined Yankees closer Mariano Rivera in wearing the cherished No. 42. The Yankees held a brief ceremony to highlight the event. Robinson’s wife and children were present to remember their private hero. Robinson’s grandson, Jesse Simms, threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Every player dressed out in uniform had Robinson’s number on their jerseys during Thursday’s game. This was in honor of the 63rd anniversary of the day Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier. Jackie Robinson made history by taking the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers as the first African American.
Major League Baseball retired 42 on the 50th anniversary in 1997, but allowed players who already had it to wear the number until they finished their career. Rivera is the only player to still have it, and is distinctly aware of what it means.
“It’s a privilege, an honor, to be the last one to wear 42, it’s a blessing for me,” the New York closer said. “I definitely have a job to do to represent him well.”