Thursday, April 5, 2007

We're All 42 Now

To follow up on my previous post, the Dodgers have now announced that every member of their team will now wear No. 42 on April 15.

Also, everyone on the Dodgers will get hugged by Pee Wee Reese, and anyone who makes it to third base will be required to try to steal home.


B Beckman said...

Wow, that is the coolest idea coming from a sports league since MLB created the All-Star Game in 1933. In fact, I'm going to have my Albany/Berkeley 10-11 year old Royals wear number 42 for their game against the Reds. To turn it into the coolest idea ever, they should announce that all profits from the sales of shirts with number 42 goes to charity.

T. Nawrocki said...

If I'm not mistaken, you're also going to actually be 42 on that date -- strictly to honor Jackie, right?

MJN said...

OK, now, wait just a minute. I had to double-check that this story wasn’t dated April 1.

First of all, I would like to know how exactly the Dodgers’ equipment manager is going to pull this off. Does he have enough blank jerseys, in all the proper sizes, that he can sew a number 42 on all of them for one day? Or will he employ an army of Betsy Rosses to rip the current numbers off of everyone’s uniform and replace them with 42’s, only to reverse the process the following day? Or will he just pin a “42” over everyone’s number, marathon-runner style? In the latter case, it would probably be difficult to conduct a dignified tribute when everybody is laughing their asses off.

Will the public address announcer get to say “Now batting, number 42, . . .” for each Dodgers batter? Will he be able to do that with a straight face?

I hope that the Padres players and fans will be encouraged to hurl vicious insults at the Dodgers players, in order that they may stoically ignore them.

Watch for the Toledo Mud Hens to play a game with no uniform numbers at all later this season, in honor of Moses Fleetwood Walker.

Remember the Knicks game a few years ago, when they all wore number 8 in tribute to Nat “Sweetwater” Clifton? It was unfortunate how they had to forfeit that game after “Number 8” fouled out in the third quarter.

Seriously, though, if the Dodgers actually print up scorecards that read something like this:
42 Moe Howard
42 Larry Fine
42 Curly Howard
. . . then I would dearly like to get my hands on one.

B Beckman said...

MJN - I can provide specifics on the Royals plan - and no marker, brown paper bag or duct tape is required! My wife is going to buy some white felt stuff with sticky back and some blue felt stuff, and she will cut out white numbers will be stuck on the blue felt which will be safety-pinned over the actual numbers on the Royals uniforms. I would be happy to describe this process in greater detail to MLB if any of you media types have the connections to make this happen.

To celebrate the day, I am printing up a sheet to provide to our opponents and their supporters with expressions they can use like "you have darker skin than the people to which I am used, and I am finding that a tad disorienting" and other expressions commonly used by late 40s white ballplayers and fans to communicate the understandable disquietude they were feeling as they struggled to adapt to this change.

MJN said...

I've been out of touch with MLB for a while, so I forgot that they sell authentic jerseys to the public these days. I imagine that the Dodgers can outfit everyone in the stands with Number 42's, let alone everyone in the clubhouse.

By the way, do they still steal home in the majors, or has that gone the way of the extra-inning complete game?