04/15/08 10:57 PM EST
Crabbe honored to wear No. 42
Padres utilityman delighted to pay tribute to Jackie Robinson
By Corey Brock / MLB.com
Turns out, all Crabbe had to do was ask to wear the jersey for San Diego's game Tuesday against the Colorado Rockies at PETCO Park. The Padres' home white jersey with No. 42 on the back was hanging in his locker before the game.
"I've been looking forward to this," Crabbe said, smiling.
The Padres held a pre-game ceremony on Tuesday to honor Robinson's 61st anniversary of breaking the Major League color barrier.
In addition to Crabbe, Colorado's Yorvit Torrealba, Matt Herges and Willy Taveras wore No. 42 as well.
The ceremony included recognition of three students representing more than 1,200 Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars. San Diego vice president/senior advisor and Hall of Fame outfielder Dave Winfield presented a check from the Padres Foundation to support future Jackie Robinson Foundation scholars.
There was also a video that was shown that chronicled the work of the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
Introduced in 2004, Jackie Robinson Day was created to honor the enduring impact of 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 number 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 his widow, Rachel Robinson, in 1973 to provide education and leadership development opportunities for minority students with strong capabilities but limited financial resources.
The foundation also supports 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.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.