- 12/21/2010, 02:25AM ET
HOOTZ said 12/21, 02:25 AM
As we all know, in 1997 during the 50 Year anniversary of Jackie Robinson braking the MLB color barrier, MLB decided to retire Robinson's #42 throughout the entire leage.
The Grandfather clause allowed any player already wearing the #42 to keep wearing it until thier career ended.
Currently, 41 y/o Mariano Rivera is the only player that still be wearing the number,
Whenever I'm at Fenway Park I see the huge (42) displayed in the right centerfield bleachers along side numbers of the greatest Red Sox of all time. This has bothered me for many years. Robinson doesn't belong there.
I most assuredly am in no way trying to downplay the magnitude of Robinson's accomplishments on the field as well as for our society. But, the decision to get rid of the #42... fifty years later seems more like a publicity stunt than a unified act of compassion.
I know that this doesn't seem to bother anyone else but me. So, would someone who agrees that the retirement of Robinson's # was the fitting thing to do.......
Give me an argument stating your reasons why? Hopefully we can make a TD out of this.
Best of luck.
Mr. Nice Guy: Barry's a HOFer said 12/21, 08:01 PM
"But, the decision to get rid of the #42... fifty years later seems more like a publicity stunt than a unified act of compassion."
Having fireworks after a game, a concert after a game, or $1 hot dogs is a publicity stunt. Retiring the number of the first player to face the adversity that crossing baseball's color barrier entailed and doing it with the grace of a professional ballerina, definately isn't the same as $1 dog or pretty things that blow up in the sky night.
Not once going to a Twins game have I ever looked at the retired numbers of Oliva, Killebrew, Carew, Hrbek, and Pucket and thought, "Jackie Robinson's number doesn't belong there."
Whenever I've went with my parents to Cincinnati for family get togethers, my dad and I always go to Reds games. I've thought to myself before, while looking at the retired #'s of Bench, Robinson, Morgan, Perez, etc. "Man, Roses' #14 should be hanging up there." But I've never thought Robinsons didn't.
"A life is not important, except in the impact it has on others' lives." -Jackie Robinson
#42 is retired across all of baseball not only to honor Robinson but every black player that didn't get the chance before him.
HOOTZ said 12/21, 09:30 PM
During the mid 1980's I was lucky enough to obtain a 1956 Jackie Robinson baseball card for $100. To this day it's my most treasured card. It always will be. I have nothing but sheer admiration for him and I remember being very saddened when hearing the news of his death.
Robinson played on some of the greatest Dodger teams of all time. I'm not denying that fact. He earned his spot in baseball history.
But, his timing was right. Robinson didn't choose his timing. Branch Rickey chose it for him. If he hadn't broken into the Majors in 1947, some other young black man surely would have shortly thereafter.
This wouldn't have seemed inevitable in 1947. But, by the time his number was retired in 1997 it clearly seemed that way.
Here's my beef. By the year 1997 baseball had been around for over 100 years at the professional level. In those more than 10 decades of baseball, far better players had come and gone. We had seen better hitters, better fielders, faster base runners, more powerful throwers and players of more legendary status.
Yet, not any of them, not a single one has ever had their # retired by MLB. It seems odd that this one single man has been immortilized.
Mr. Nice Guy: Barry's a HOFer said 12/21, 10:51 PM
Major League Baseball retiring Robison's #42 was not only a tribute to him, but a tribute to every African-American player that came before him such as Rube Foster, Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson, and the scores of players that were skilled enough to play Major League, baseball but never got the chance because of the color of their skin. It was also a way to honor all the African-American players that have come along since Robinson broke the color barrier.
"Branch Rickey chose it for him"
He chose Robinson because he was a player that had the character traits, name recognition, and education to appeal to white America. Robinson graduated from UCLA where he was a football star and basically led the way for the desegregation of the United States Armed Forces, when he refused to take orders from a white officer that Robinson outranked.
Baseball is a pure American institution, and thus an arm of American culture. We don't have Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson day. We have Presidents day. We also lump Malcolm X, Walter White, Thurgood Marshall, etc. as part of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Out of room. More to come.
HOOTZ said 12/22, 03:26 PM
Baseball is a pure American institution, and thus an arm of American culture.
Well put CREEPY. It must also be the keeper of it's own house. I failed to recognize the symbolism behind the symbol.
I'm going to pass this back to you, should you have any final thoughts you'd like to share.
Thanks for taking this topic at face value and turning it into the debate I was hoping for. I doubt that anyone could have argued it better.
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