The Phillies are paying a special tribute to Jackie Robinson Friday Night at Citizens Bank Park before their game against the Florida Marlins. The Daily News is reporting that every Phillies player will wear No. 42 and a giant wooden statue of Robinson will be standing behind the center field wall in Ashburn Alley for fans to marvel at and presumably rub for good luck.
I couldn’t help but notice that some of the commenters on the story were a touch exasperated with this concept. As if having a Jackie Robinson night at CBP was somehow an inconvenience to their normal baseball watching.
One of the complaints was that Robinson never played for the Phillies -- which is a stupid grievance.
When baseball honors Robinson, it honors him for what he did for the sport, not just for one team. Robinson is the reason baseball is what it is today. No Jackie Robinson means no Ryan Howard, and so on and so forth.
So yes, even though Robinson never took an at bat for the Phils, he had an undeniable impact on them, as he did every other team in the league. And so that’s why he gets a big wooden statue at the stadium for you to spill beer on.
If you come across someone expressing annoyance at the concept of Jackie Robinson Night at the ballpark, just hit them with a bag of peanuts and make sure they come correct. Then sit back and enjoy as the Phillies pay tribute to a legend.