Choice accomplishes dream wearing No. 42
Local product says playing on Jackie Robinson Day is special to him
ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Michael Choice achieved another childhood dream on Tuesday. He was able to wear a big league uniform with the No. 42 on the back.
Choice and his Rangers teammates all wore No. 42 on Tuesday in celebration of Jackie Robinson Day throughout the Major Leagues. It has special meaning for Choice, who grew up in the Arlington area as a Rangers fan, playing at both Mansfield Timberview High and UT-Arlington.
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"It's really a special day for me," Choice said. "Once they started doing Jackie Robinson Day, I always thought it would be cool to experience wearing that uniform in a big league park."
Robinson's number was retired all through baseball in 1997 and the first Jackie Robinson Day was held in 2007. April 15 marks the anniversary of Robinson's first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947 and the breaking of baseball's color barrier.
"I think it's awesome," Choice said. "He did so much for the game and opened up so many opportunities. It's truly incredible what he did. So to me it's an honor to wear his jersey today."
Choice is well aware of who Robinson is and the details of his Hall of Fame career.
"I know he played at UCLA and was in the military," Choice said. "I know he played Minor League baseball in Montreal and he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. That was the same year my dad was born so it has extra special meaning for me."
Jackie Robinson Day has special meaning for many people.
"It's a great day," first baseman Prince Fielder said. "Obviously Jackie is the main reason why I'm able to play the game today. It's definitely a great day and it's definitely cool to wear No. 42 for one day a year."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.