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04/13/08 5:05 PM ET
Giants decide only Durham will wear 42
Second baseman to get honor on Jackie Robinson Day
By Rick Eymer / Special to MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Randy Winn was one of several Giants who would have been honored to wear the esteemed uniform No. 42 on Tuesday as part of celebrating Jackie Robinson Day. In the end, though, the Giants voted to allow one player the honor. Second baseman Ray Durham, who normally wears No. 5, will represent the team by wearing Robinson's number on the anniversary of the day he broke the Major League color barrier.
"We did it last year with one guy when Barry Bonds did it," Winn said. "Ray is the elder statesman of the group. It was a team decision. The important thing is we're remembering Jackie Robinson, the things he did and the impact he had on the game."
While Robinson played first base during his Rookie of the Year season, he played more often at second. Durham will be sharing more than just a number.
"There's not a wrong way to honor Jackie Robinson," Winn said. "I don't care if 25, 35 or one [player] wears the number. It's about honoring the man."
Introduced in 2004, Jackie Robinson Day was created to honor the enduring impact of Jackie Robinson and his legacy as the first African-American player to break the Major League color barrier. Robinson played his first Major League game at Ebbets Field on April 15, 1947, as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers. In honor of the 50th anniversary of Robinson breaking the Major League color barrier in 1997, Robinson's uniform No. 42 was retired throughout the Major Leagues.
Robinson's memory lives on today in initiatives such as the Jackie Robinson Foundation, which was founded by Robinson's widow, Rachel Robinson, in 1973 to provide education and leadership development opportunities for minority students with strong capabilities but limited financial resources. Another is Breaking Barriers, which utilizes baseball-themed activities to reinforce literacy skills, mathematics, science and social history in addition to addressing critical issues of character development, such as conflict resolution and self-esteem.
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.