Forty-two again will be the magic number throughout baseball Sunday, especially at Yankee Stadium, in a 65th anniversary tribute to Jackie Robinson's first major-league game.
Every player and everyone else in uniform throughout the big leagues will wear No. 42 Sunday in honor of Robinson, who broke baseball's racial barrier for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. His number was retired for all teams -- Mariano Rivera is the only active player still allowed to wear the number -- during a ceremony at Shea Stadium on the 50th anniversary in 1997, a service attended by then-President Bill Clinton, commissioner Bud Selig and Rachel Robinson, Jackie's widow.
The latter will be at Yankee Stadium Sunday night for another Jackie Robinson Day ceremony before the start of the 8:05 p.m. game against the Angels. The Robinsons' daughter, Sharon, also will be on the field after helping to host an afternoon youth baseball clinic at Macombs Dam Park, across the street from the Stadium.
Major League Baseball on Saturday introduced a Jackie Robinson Day public service announcement, tracing the sport's recent history of diversity to the former Dodgers infielder. It is narrated by longtime Dodgers announcer Vin Scully, who called games when Robinson played for Brooklyn.
Two years ago, the Yankees hosted the Angels on Jackie Robinson Day, and Robinson Cano -- named for the Hall of Famer -- hit two home runs. "That's one of the days when I always can't wait to come here so I can wear that No. 42," Cano said after Saturday's game. "I'll just be happy to be in the lineup tomorrow."