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A Uni Watch Look at Jackie Robinson Day

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Yesterday was Jackie Robinson Day. As I wrote yesterday afternoon, the Red Sox wore old-template jerseys. Here are some other uni-notable details from yesterday’s games:

  • Obviously, everyone wore No. 42. For the third consecutive year, the numbers were rendered in the Brooklyn Dodgers’ old block font, and in blue:
  • The Padres went the extra mile by “42”-ing all of their batting helmets (they also did this last year):
  • As usual, there were no front numbers. I’ve never really understood the reason for this (maybe because the Dodgers didn’t have front numbers in 1947, when Jackie debuted?), but they do it every year:
  • I believe every team went with their primary home or road jersey except the Reds, who wore their red alternate top. Our own Alex Hider, who lives in Cincinnati, says he doesn’t recall the team ever wearing red on Jackie Day before:
  • In a sad reminder of the Great MLB Uniform Fiasco of 2024, at least one player — Angels pitcher Patrick Sandoval — was victimized by the dreaded mismatched greys:
  • Caps were adorned with an embroidered patch:
  • Umpires wore the cap patch but did not change their numbers to 42:
  • The Brewers mimicked the cap patch with a helmet decal:
  • High-cuffed players mostly went with grey socks…
  • … but Pirates first baseman Connor Joe went with blue socks …
  • … and fellow Pirate Andrew McCutchen inexplicably split the difference by going with one grey sock and one blue:
  • There were assorted “42”-ized accessories, including shoes and batting gloves:

  • Prior to the game, players wore “Breaking Barriers” warm-up shirts:
  • Four players — Mariners outfielder Jonatan Clase, White Sox pitcher Nick Nastrini, Nats pitcher Mitchell Parker, and Dodgers pitcher Ricky Vanasco — made their big league debuts, so they wore the MLB Debut patch. The four debutantes was the most ever on April 15 since Jackie Day was established in 2004.


Finally, while not uni-related, it’s worth mentioning that Rachel Robinson — still a picture of grace at 101 (!) — visited with Mets players prior to their game against the Pirates and took part in pregame ceremonies:

(My thanks to Clint Richardson for letting me know about the Brewers’ helmet decal.)



Can of the Day

Yesterday I announced that I’m discontinuing the Can of the Day due to diminishing returns. But reader Kevin Corcoran thought I might like these can pics that he sent me, and he was right! He also provided this explainer:

This is a cooler used to transport donated eyes from hospitals and morgues to eye banks to facilitate cornea transplants. This one dates to the 1960s; at the time, the entire eye was removed, kept cold in coolers like this one, and delivered to the surgeon so he/she could remove the cornea from the donated eye and transplant it directly into the recipient. Tissue needed to be recovered and transplanted very quickly, as we could not preserve tissue for extended periods. Today, we can keep the ocular tissue viable for up to 14 days; we typically only recover the donor’s corneas and bring them to the eye bank for inspection and processing before delivering them to the surgeon for transplant.

I’ll admit that I have a vested interest in this can, since I’m the CEO of the Eye Bank Association of America, but I still think it’s both an unusual design and a bit of history that folks might be interested in.

Sensational stuff! Thanks for the very attractive can and the educational primer, Kevin — much appreciated!

Comments (39)

    Twins definitely had mismatched grays yesterday. On tv, the jersey pinstripes looked nearly washed out.


    Maybe it is just me, but I think the uniforms look much cleaner without front numbers.
    I find myself liking all the other uni related Jackie tributes more than the league wide wearing of 42. Even more so with the same blue block font on every uniform, it feels a little forced. The individual players and teams coming up with their own Jackie tributes feels more organic and special. I consider him one of greatest Americans in history, the number thing comes off as less of a genuine tribute to someone as important as him.

    It would have been even nicer if they loaded the effort to remove the Nike swoosh as I am quite sure that wasn’t around in 1947 either ;^)

    I think they’ve done too much for Jackie Robinson Day now. I don’t mean that in the sense that he doesn’t deserve it, he does. It just all looks so sloppy now with the socks, cleats and other accessories, much like every other day in the MLB. Looks more like a circus than it does a tribute. I think Jackie Robinson deserves a classy looking tribute, not some mashup of how many player accessories can we put stuff on.

    Look at Ken Griffey Jr. as the first player to honor Jackie Robinson. All black cleats, an homage to the old style, high socks and the 42 on his jersey. Simple, respectful and just looks great. Only thing that would make it better is NNOB.


    Looks more like a circus than it does a tribute.

    You got that right.

    The cap patch is classy. And it’s all you need.
    Everything below the head looked ridiculous.

    Everyone wearing 42 is great, all the 42s being rendered in Dodgers blue is in my opinion brutal from an aesthetic perspective and illogical from a symbolism perspective. The day is about honoring the man, not the team he played for, no?

    I agree! It’s more of a tribute IMO to have every team use his number….the color of the number is inconsequential.

    It feels like MLB is overcompensating to make sure we get the idea by rendering the 42 in Dodgers colors and fonts. I wish they would go back to rendering the numbers in a team’s colors and fonts. It feels less shoehorned in, and more organic.

    The Red Sox, while it looked like their normal Home uniform, went with their Alternate BOSTON Home Jersey which is worn only once a year on the third Monday of April. This is the Uniform they wore for the first series after the tragic events of the Boston Marathon Bombing 11 years ago. While Jackie Robinson day fell on that day 11 years ago, it feels/looks odd for them to be wearing that uniform on that day. I wish they would give the Red Sox an exemption to celebrate Jackie Robinson day on a different day only when April 15th falls on the same Monday as the marathon

    Don’t the Red Sawx already get a schedule exemption from MLB always allowing them to (1) play at home that day and (2) to start the game at 11 am? Now you want to give them a third exemption — wearing JRR tribute jerseys on a day other than JRR day?

    This reminds me of a recent controversy regarding a floating holiday coinciding with a date-specific event.

    As a Sox fan, it doesn’t really bother me when Jackie Robinson Day and Marathon Monday happen to coincide. Doesn’t happen all that often, and clearly the uniforms are able to commemorate both days without getting in the way of either.

    The Braves wore red in 2021. They actually wore the jersey twice, once at home and once on the road, because the Cubs were off on the 15th and they needed to wear 42 on the 16th.


    Almost all teams have the “42” stitched low on the back to allow a name to be sewn to the jersey above the number. Not the Yankees, however. Theirs appear to be centered correctly. All others look off-balance.

    Came here to say that. It looks terrible, though I’m ready to blame that silly batterman logo placement shoving the numbers downward. Even teams with a history of modern-era NNOB jerseys like the Cubs and Dodgers have too-low positioning. The Cincinnati pitcher’s back looks particularly awful, and that’s before getting to how unreadable dark blue digits are with no border on a red background.

    “High-cuffed players mostly went with grey socks…”

    And custom Air Max 1 spikes?!?!?

    Baseball should always be NNOB. I know it is a futile, hopeless cause, but dammit it just looks so much better that way.

    Fascinating bit about the eye donation can. Even in those comparatively primitive organ/tissue donation days, I never would have figured they had something that specific for the job. And your favorite color too.

    Ya know, I wonder how many other readers out there might have interesting cans laying around with interesting stories…could be a neat “comm-uni-ty” way to keep the can feature going the final 6 weeks rather than discontinuing it completely. Might still be too much work, even if there’s enough material out there…just a random thought.

    That is the best kind of Can of the Day. Great story about a mostly unseen part of our world (pun intended).

    Plus I did a double-take on that label “human eyes in glass jar” before I read the explanation.

    What a great can of the day to go out on! It would make a great carry-on at the airport.

    Just saw someone post a video of it, and I admittedly missed this while watching the game, but Edwin Diaz wore his regular home jersey and not the Jackie Robinson version last night:


    No he didn’t. In fact the very next reply to that tweet (link) shows he wore the “42”.

    How impressive, moving and endearing to see Jackie’s widow at the Mets game. That can is the best finish line ever.

    I wish MLB would celebrate Larry Doby a little bit more. He was the first black AL player and his debut was merely 81 days later (4/15 to 7/5).

    The entire MLB pulls out all of the stops for Robinson (to be clear, well deserved) but the Guardos try every year to get clearance for doing a Larry Doby tribute similar to this and get shot down every time.

    MLB is ridiculous. I loved playing through the Negro League showcase on MLB The Show last year, just learning about the history was awesome. Anything to bring more attention to the groundbreakers from that era is good in my book.

    Having every team wear the 42 ‘in Dodger blue’ looks horrid on a ton of the uniforms.

    The one thing they managed to keep during the tribute yesterday was that teams with Advertising Patches looked to have worn them. (Reds definitely did against the M’s).

    I will second Alex’s thought on this being the first time the Reds have worn a red jersey for JRD. Disappointing that they didn’t going a more traditional route, but I didn’t hate how the blue numbers looked on the red jersey. The contrast while watching the game was better than what the photo above seems to show.

    Has there ever been a player called up and made their ONLY career appearance on Jackie Robinson day? Meaning they never played in a game with their own number or NOB.

    I’m hoping to see that. Two years ago (or three?), Pedro Strop rejoined the Cubs, and with his regular number 46 being taken, he reversed the digits and took 64. He made his season debut on Jackie Robinson Day and the fans were spared having to see the 64. He later pitched wearing his “real” number, though. I wonder if any of these players making their debuts will be playing in their only major league games, meaning that they’ll never have a ‘real’ number.

    I’m curious about the level of confusion encountered by the Padres batters trying to find their helmets.

    Was thinking the same thing — the cubbies don’t appear to be tagged with player names. I’m guessing the players either (a) always have the same specific cubby so they’re used to using the same one all the time or (b) they’re in batting order from top left.

    But there does seem to be a certain amount of confusion involved when every helmet carries the same number.

    Couldn’t agree more with this. As with most things, it’s gotten completely out of hand. A cap and/or jersey patch is all you need. Having every player wear 42 is disrespectful to the whole point of retiring 42 in the first.

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