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DIESELMAN
04-04-2007, 08:02 PM
CINCINNATI (AP) -- 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 got 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.

"I called Bud because it is retired, and we talked about it for a few minutes," Griffey said. "He said he'd call me back. He just wanted to make sure it was OK with everybody. It was.

"Usually when you get a call from somebody, (it's because) you're in trouble. But in this case, it was just a nice, good conversation about honoring somebody who did so much for the game of baseball."

Griffey wore No. 24 during his 11 seasons in Seattle. He switched to No. 30 -- his father's number -- when he was traded before the 2000 season to Cincinnati. Tony Perez's No. 24 has been retired by the Reds.

Griffey switched to No. 3 last season before the World Baseball Classic so his father, Ken Sr., could wear his old number as a coach in the international competition. Griffey continues to wear No. 3.

During his phone conversation with Selig, the commissioner raised the idea of allowing other players to wear No. 42.

"He asked me did I mind?" Griffey said. "I said no. I think everybody should be able to wear it, whoever wants to wear that number."

Yankees reliever Mariano Rivera is the only active major leaguer still allowed to wear No. 42 on a regular basis. Selig expects players on other teams to follow Griffey's example.

"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. "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."

Every game on April 15 will honor Robinson in some way. The Reds are playing the Cubs in Chicago that day.

By JOE KAY, AP Sports Writer
April 4, 2007



I thought this was pretty cool of Griffey and the Reds to honor Robinson this way. :bigthumb:

BB2W
04-04-2007, 08:13 PM
That is cool... I'm a big fan of Griffey's even though he's always injured.

Black@Gold Forever32
04-04-2007, 08:14 PM
Thats a cool of Griffey to do that in tribute of a true American hero.

DIESELMAN
04-04-2007, 08:23 PM
That is cool... I'm a big fan of Griffey's even though he's always injured.

Me to.....its a shame hes had so many injuries since coming to the Red's. He would've been right up there in the HR record chase. :banging:

BB2W
04-04-2007, 08:42 PM
Me to.....its a shame hes had so many injuries since coming to the Red's. He would've been right up there in the HR record chase. :banging:Yup... and prolly in the discussion for G.O.A.T.

Hawk Believer
04-04-2007, 08:58 PM
Griffey will probably hit over 600 HRs in his carreer. But when he retires, we are all going ot shake our heads a little and think what could have been... I can't think of anyone else in those ranks who achieved so much yet fell so far short of what his potential could have been due to injuries.

One interesting thing to think about wiht Jr... Back in the 90's, Griffey was right in there with all the guys who were hitting 50+ HRs a year while they were shooting up with steriods between hits. But for all the people who have been rumored to have been doing roids, I have never heard Griffey mentioned as a suspected doper. (Please correct me if I am wrong). In fact, he was criticized for his disinterest in the weight room and conditioning and a lot of people thought that was why he got injured so often. My point is that while we were watching better baseball through chemistry in the 80s and 90s, Griffey was bashing home runs with wicked bat speed and that sweet inclined swing. He had the same swing as an 18 year old that gets him over the wall today. Hindsight being 20/20, thats something I really appreciate about the guy.

BB2W
04-04-2007, 09:04 PM
Great post Hawk Believer! :redcool:

One thing about Griffey... I love his swing. You don't have to do roids to hit homers when you're taking cuts like that.

DIESELMAN
04-04-2007, 09:16 PM
Griffey will probably hit over 600 HRs in his carreer. But when he retires, we are all going ot shake our heads a little and think what could have been... I can't think of anyone else in those ranks who achieved so much yet fell so far short of what his potential could have been due to injuries.

One interesting thing to think about wiht Jr... Back in the 90's, Griffey was right in there with all the guys who were hitting 50+ HRs a year while they were shooting up with steriods between hits. But for all the people who have been rumored to have been doing roids, I have never heard Griffey mentioned as a suspected doper. (Please correct me if I am wrong). In fact, he was criticized for his disinterest in the weight room and conditioning and a lot of people thought that was why he got injured so often. My point is that while we were watching better baseball through chemistry in the 80s and 90s, Griffey was bashing home runs with wicked bat speed and that sweet inclined swing. He had the same swing as an 18 year old that gets him over the wall today. Hindsight being 20/20, thats something I really appreciate about the guy.

I hope and pray that there are kids out there that see him as a role model instead of the roid boys. Good post Hawk :bigthumb: