Jackie Robinson Was so Important, the Cincinnati Reds Honor Him Twice

Cliff EasthamSenior Writer IIApril 16, 2010

NEW YORK - APRIL 15: (L-R) Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees all wear the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson before the game against the Los Angeles Angels during their game on April 15, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images


Another Jackie Robinson  Day in the MLB has come and gone.

Wait a minute, it is still going.

That's right, it is such an awesome dealie that the Cincinnati Reds get to do it twice. Since the Pittsburgh Pirates were off yesterday, the Reds get to wear their stylish No. 42's again tonight.

I wrote an article for Bleacher Report last year throwing my two cents worth of opinion on the over-celebrated status of the event.

I guess Jackie Robinson must be the most important player to ever play the game. No Babe Ruth day, no Lou Gehrig day, no Hank Aaron day.

First of all let me say that I am not playing a "race card." I have no racist bones in my old school body. Not one!

He was a very good, perhaps great player. But does the baseball world have to stop every year on Tax Day to re-celebrate the coming of Jackie Roosevelt Robinson?

Haven't we done enough already? He was the first Rookie of the Year and in the 1980s they actually changed the name of the award to "The Jackie Robinson Award."

Every year all the players in the league have to don a uniform with no name on it and the number "42" on it. Wouldn't a baseball sized patch do the trick? Come on, whats the deal?

And now, we Reds fans have to put up with it twice. Once isn't enough, no sir, we must do it twice. It is difficult to watch a game on TV with everybody parading around with the same number.

I have a question for you hard core fans. His number was retired by the entire league, so why does Mariano Rivera get to be the only player in baseball to wear it on days other than Tax Day?

I know the hoopla surrounds the fact that he was the "first" African-American player to be accepted, as it were.  You did know he wasn't the first "player of color" to play in MLB, yes?

Have the statisticians gone on overtime yet to figure out who the different career leaders are on Jackie Robinson Day? Just askin'.

Robinson played only 10 years in the major leagues, but that is okay. Works for him, but not Ralph Kiner .

Oh yeah, Kiner is in the Hall of Fame, but I have seen articles on here that would suggest he is undeserving. His OBP is only four or five points below Robinson.

I asked before and I will ask again. Who was the first Latin-American player to play in the MLB, and why are we not honoring him?

Moses Fleetwood Walker was the first black player in MLB. He played his first game on May 1, 1884 as a member of Toledo of the American Association.

Where is the love? Ever heard of him, be honest?

Enough is enough! All the excessive celebration of Robinson's birthday diminishes all of the accomplishments of the other great players in the game's history. Was he being the first accepted black player bigger than all of Babe Ruth's accomplishments? Methinks not.

Frank Robinson, Vada Pinson, Hank Aaron and Willie Mays all had to endure hardships of "white" America when they were playing in the major leagues and being forced to eat on the bus while the white guys ate in the restaurants.

I have said enough, and I am sure the supporters of this great holiday will begin lambasting me as soon as this hits the press (or screen or whatever).