More than 150 major-league players will wear jersey No. 42 to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on Sunday, and some players think that is far too many.
"This is supposed to be an honor," Minnesota Twins star outfielder Torii Hunter told USA Today, "and just a handful of guys wearing the number. Now you've got entire teams doing it. I think we're killing the meaning.
"It should be special wearing Jackie's number, not just because it looks cool."
Cleveland Indians pitcher C.C. Sabathia, who last month decried the lack of African-American players in the game, told USA Today that "It kind of waters it down. I could see the Dodgers since that was his team, but not everyone else."
On Sunday, the Los Angeles Dodgers will honor Robinson by having all of its players wear his jersey number in their game against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium on the 60th anniversary of Robinson becoming the first African-American player to play in a big league game.
The No. 42 trend began when Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. asked for, and received, special permission from Robinson's widow Rachel to wear No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day. Now, five entire teams will have all their players wear that number on Sunday: the Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros.
"I didn't know so many guys planned to wear the number. I sure wasn't expecting whole teams to wear it," Griffey told the USA Today. "But I'm not going to look at it as a negative. This is a tribute for what the man has done, a day to celebrate."
Los Angeles Angels left fielder Garret Anderson told the USA Today that he won't wear No. 42 because "I just don't feel I'm worthy of it."
Robinson made his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. The team moved to Los Angeles after the 1957 season.
A look back at Jackie
Images from the life of the major leagues' first black baseball player and civil rights activist.
The nation grieved for those hurt, killed and affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. After one of the suspects was caught on Friday — following a day-long lockdown and manhunt — sports returned to Boston over the weekend.
JACKIE ROBINSON, 60 YEARS LATER
Brooklyn Dodger second baseman broke color line on April 15, 1947
Video: Celebrating Jackie Robinson
Jackie Robinson, 60 years later
April 13: Sixty years ago this weekend, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play in the major leagues. Keith Olbermann talks with Ed Silverman, who covered Robinson’s debut.