I believe every player who took the field for Jackie Robinson Day this month wore #42. It’s been sort of voluntary since the tradition began a few years ago. It’s still one of the coolest ideas MLB has put into action in the last couple of decades.
Just what happens to those jerseys is still a bit of mystery. The Orioles quickly announced they were putting theirs up for bid at MLB.com. A couple of other teams have followed suit, but there’s no real organized effort to let fans know what’s happened to them. Surely, some players want to keep them, which is fine, but you’d think they could come up with a way to put a second jersey on for part of the game and sell one of each. Word gets out, but if you ask me, MLB is probably leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table by not getting serious about informing the collector market of what’s out there–and making sure there are at least a couple hundred on the market.
Same goes for the pink Mother’s Day bats and other special event items. Fans might bid more for some items than serious collectors would, but other pieces aren’t bringing what they should…and it’s for a great cause in the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
And one last note on that…Jack’s widow, Rachel is still going strong–a wonderfully elegant spokeswoman for the Foundation and still a huge baseball fan. She’s a treasure.