Jackie Robinson Day: The last MLB players to wear number 42

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Sep 15, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Baseball fans pose for a photo by Jackie Robinson

I always admired Jackie Robinson‘s patience, perseverance, skill and sacrifice growing up. In fact, in Mrs. Cooper’s class in third grade, I did a book report on the man and came to school dressed as a baseball player. I’ll save you the photographic evidence. Among his many meaningful quotations, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives,” is the one that stands out to me.

He did more than change a game; he changed the American way of life.

So in 1997, when Major League Baseball decided April 15 would be Jackie Robinson Day in every Major League ballpark, they also resolved to retire Robinson’s number 42 throughout the league. No new players would be issued 42. However, a number of players (some in tribute) wore the number at the time of the decision and were grandfathered. The last of those players, Mariano Rivera, finally hung up his cleats last year.

Here’s a look at some others:

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