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Archive for Thursday, April 5, 2007

Griffey will wear No. 42

April 5, 2007

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— Ken Griffey Jr. plans to wear No. 42 on April 15, honoring the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier.

The Cincinnati Reds outfielder called baseball commissioner Bud Selig and received permission to wear the retired number for the one day. Major League Baseball then invited players on other teams to do the same.

"What I think: If he didn't achieve or didn't overcome the racial tension, would I be wearing this uniform?" Griffey said Wednesday. "Or, when was the next opportunity that an African-American would get a chance to put on another major league uniform if he didn't achieve what he did?"

Baseball plans to honor the anniversary before a game between the San Diego Padres and the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Robinson played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.

Griffey wore No. 42 on the 50th anniversary, and thought it would be appropriate to do it again. Baseball retired the number 10 years ago as a way of honoring Robinson's contribution to the game.

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