The idea to un-retire Jackie Robinson’s uniform number belonged to Reds right fielder Ken Griffey Jr.
Griffey recently called baseball commissioner Bud Selig for permission to wear No. 42 on April 15 when the MLB will celebrate the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s breaking of the color barrier in baseball.
“It’s just my way of giving that man his due respect,” Griffey said on Wednesday. …
“I just called Bud and asked him if I could do it,” Griffey said. “He made a couple of phone calls and said ‘Yeah.’ We had a good conversation. It was about me wearing it on that day, and only that day.”
Selig liked Griffey’s idea so much, he has encouraged other clubs to have a player wear No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day. Robinson’s memory will honored during all 15 games played on April 15.
“This is a wonderful gesture on Ken’s part and a fitting tribute to the great Jackie Robinson and one, I believe, that all Clubs will eagerly endorse,” Selig said in a statement released by Major League Baseball. “To make this happen, I gladly will temporarily suspend the official retirement of uniform No. 42 on that day. Jackie continues to be an inspiration to all of our players, and his impact will be felt for as long as our game is played. I thank Ken for finding another special way to mark Jackie Robinson Day.”