WASHINGTON, D. C. – Orlando Hudson said he will proud to be included among the group of major leaguers who will wear Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 number on April 15, the 60th anniversary of his first game.
“(He’s) a guy who, not just African-Americans, but everybody should admire,” said Hudson, who normally wears No. 1.
“It’s beyond making an All-Star Game. It’s beyond winning a Gold Glove. It is beyond 500 homers. It’s a chance to wear the number of the first black who ever go to do it in a white man’s game at that time.
“I just want to steal home.”
One of Robinson’s storied moments came when he stole home for Brooklyn in Game 1 of the 1955 World Series against the New York Yankees.
He stole home 13 times in his 10-year career after being the first black to play in the majors, and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972.
What Robinson endured was “unbelievable,” Hudson said.
“To go through the stuff he went through back in those days – separate bathrooms, to be called the ‘n’ word. They love you on the field and call you the ‘n’ word off the field. He received death threats. His wife received death threats.
“He definitely had God on his side. I don’t know if I would have had the heart to do what he did.”
Tony Clark, a natural choice to wear No. 42, approached Hudson with the idea.
“That number needs to be on the field,” said Clark, a spot player and top pinch-hitter.
Dmitri Young and Ken Griffey also have said they will wear No. 42.