Today is Jackie Robinson Day across Major League Baseball, an annual celebration of the anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the colour barrier when he made his début with the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.
Since the 2009 season, every player, manager, and coach across the league wears Robinson’s jersey number 42 without their name on the back of the jersey on April 15th (or the 16th if their team is not scheduled to play). The number 42 was retired league-wide on April 15, 1997, the 50th anniversary of his debut. To this date, Robinson is the only player to receive this honour in Major League Baseball.
This season, as was the case in 2018, all players will also wear a special #42 patch on their jersey sleeves and the right side of their ballcaps. The patch features 42 in Dodgers-style font, on a cream circle trimmed in gold on a blue diamond. Two crossed bats behind the diamond.
Players will also be given the opportunity to wear special socks designed for the day, the socks are the very similar to those worn in 2018, mostly black and grey with the Jackie Robinson Day logo on a few thin blue and white stripes. The Jackie Robinson Day logo has been re-coloured on the socks in 2019, and an extra stripe of grey added to the top:
The Los Angeles Dodgers, the franchise with whom Robinson played his entire career, will go one step further this year by wearing 1947-style Brooklyn Dodgers throwback home white uniforms.
While the uniform is largely the same as today’s Dodgers set there are some notable differences.
The first is obviously the cap which will feature Brooklyn’s B rather than the interlocked “LA” of Los Angeles.
On the jersey, the font for the player numbers on the back of the uniform is significantly thicker, as it was in 1947. A comparison of the Jackie Robinson Day jerseys worn by the Dodgers in 2018 and will wear tonight shows the difference:
Also seen in the photo above, and this is some real attention to detail, the Dodgers throwback jersey today will feature an older style jersey cut at the shoulders and arms. Note the location of the seams here from the back collar and following down the sleeves, the 2019 throwback on the right and what the Dodgers wore for Jackie Robinson Day 2018 on the left.
The “Dodgers” scripted wordmark on the front of the jersey is also different but this is much less noticeable. You can see it in the spacing between some of the letters, I can really catch it between the “r” and “s”.
The “LA” logo patch, usually worn on the Dodgers jersey sleeve, will not be present for tonight’s game. The number on the front of the jersey (which wasn’t worn by the Dodgers in ’47) will still be present, however, I imagine that’s being kept to help showcase everyone wearing 42.
Throwing back to the 1947 design is an excellent decision by the Dodgers, I hope they do this for all future Jackie Robinson Day games.
Finally, some players will celebrate Jackie with their own additions to their uniforms, such as Miami’s Curtis Granderson who has been wearing these cleats fashioned with a new logo commemorating the 100th anniversary of Robinson’s birth:
As mentioned earlier, a few teams who are not scheduled to play today will celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on April 16th instead, and some will even celebrate it on both the 15th *and* 16th.
Baltimore is at Boston this morning for the annual Patriot Day game where they are also celebrating Jackie Robinson Day; they then fly to St. Petersburg tomorrow where they will wear 42 again as the Rays (who are off today) hold their celebrations.