There was no shortage of #42s on the field in Sunday’s Major League games..even if several were rained out. Jackie Robinson Day turned into a movement that could push a lot of game-used equipment into the market.
Actors don’t change their wardrobe as much as Ken Griffey Junior did Sunday. The Reds’ outfielder, who came up with the idea to honor Jackie Robinson by wearing his jersey number on the 60th anniversary of Robinson’s entry into the majors, changed his shirt five times in the 1-0 win over the Cubs.
Griffey planned to give one jersey to Rachel Robinson, widow of the late Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Famer. He told local reporters he planned to keep one, use another as an auction item during his charity golf tournament later this year and was unsure what he’d do with the other three.
Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford went one step further, wearing a different jersey every inning so all could be described as ‘game-used’.
Marlins’ pitcher Dontrelle Willis wore only one and MLB may have a tough time getting it away from him. Willis didn’t pitch, but he got the No. 42 jersey. And he said he plans to keep it forever.
"I’ve talked with my family about it. This is a little bit different. It may be in my will," Willis said.
Each jersey was to be authenticated on-site, and will be auctioned on MLB.com with net proceeds to benefit the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
The Jackie Robinson Foundation assists increasing numbers of minority youths through the granting of four-year scholarships for higher education.
The Arizona Diamondbacks had five members of their club–Orlando Hudson, Tony Clark, Chris Young, Scott Hairston and coach Lee Tinsley– wearing the jerseys, which were to be autographed and sent to MLB after the game.
Six entire teams wore #42; the Dodgers, Pirates, Cardinals, Phillies, Astros and Brewers. Here’s a gallery of photos from SI.com.
MLB is expected to auction not only the game-worn and game-issued jerseys but also the specially-designed home plate and bases used in Sunday’s games. The auctions will likely be ongoing throughout the remainder of the season rather than conducted all at once.
Only manager Willie Randolph will wear #42 for the Mets when their rained-out game is made up, but Randolph told the New York Times he plans to keep and frame his jersey.
Some thoughts from the Editor’s Blog on the increase in MLB’s interest in game-used material.