I find it appropriate that on the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in MLB, that the last player wearing #42 played such an important role in the outcome of his team's game today.
Mariano Rivera, the "GREAT" Mariano Rivera has had the number 42 his entire career with the Yankees. When MLB retired the number in 1997, it allowed anyone wearing that number to continue to do so until they retired. Rivera is the last of the bunch, and today, well, today was a GOOD day.
Leading 4-2 in the bottom of the 9th, Rivera took the ball and prepared to send the lowly A's home in shame. A hit, a walk, and a walk off home run by Marco Scutaro put an end to that nonsense. First time this year I have yelled during a game not involving the Red Sox. I made it to April 15, which sets a personal record for me.
As my friend Kelly said, he took so long to get to first, you hoped he remembered how to get around the other 2 to reach home plate: he's probably getting one between the numbers the next time the two team's play, but like my Pop said, it's worth it.
If anything can soothe the fact the Sox got rained out, it's Rivera gacking up the game in the bottom of the 9th. Add on the fact the Yankees put Mussina AND Pavano on the DL today and you have the makings of a REALLY good day.
In all seriousness, today marks a special day: the day a man of color stepped onto a major league field for the first time. Like the MLB special said, without Mr. Robinson, we don't get Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Willy Mays, Willie McCovey, and Ken Griffey Jr. Not to mention Rickey Henderson, Kirby Puckett, Barry Bonds, and Reggie Jackson. The courage it took for this man to do what he did is something not many of us could fathom.
So, hats off to you Jackie. And thanks.
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