Stark: An oral history of the night baseball retired Jackie Robinson’s 42

From SABR member Jayson Stark at on April 14, 2017:

Twenty years ago, a baseball game froze in time. And out onto the lush green grass of Shea Stadium, in the middle of the fifth inning, walked three people.

One was Rachel Robinson, wife of the late, great Jackie Robinson. One was the commissioner of baseball, Bud Selig. The third? It was merely the president of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton.

They were there to do something that had never been done before: retire a number, Jackie Robinson’s 42, across an entire sport. And to do their part to ensure that the power of Robinson’s major league debut, 50 years earlier to the day, would keep resonating through history.

This is the story of that night, April 15, 1997 — and its aftermath — through the eyes of the men and women who lived it.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: April 14, 2017. Last Updated: April 14, 2017.