Tuesday was Jackie Robinson Day, and players across Major League Baseball wore his number 42 to honor him. The tradition of everyone on the team wearing the No. 42 is an interesting story that you might not of heard before, but Vin Scully shared the story during the Los Angeles Dodgers game against the San Francisco Giants.
“They were playing in Cincinnati and Jackie had gotten some very serious death threats. So serious the FBI, the police department were all over Crosley Field,” Scully recalls.
He goes on to describe sharp shooters all over around the ball park as a security measure.
“So it was serious, and there was a great deal of tension amongst all of those who knew about it and the Dodgers had their usual pre-game meeting, and it was even more tense as they tried to get a game frame mentally, instead of being worried about Jackie Robinson getting shot at,” Scully says. “And while the meeting was going on, a Dodger left fielder from Brooklyn, good natured happy-go-lucky guy named Gene Hermanski, and all of the sudden right in the middle of the meeting Hermanski says ‘I got it.’”
The team asks Hermanski what exactly it is that he got?
“I know what we can do to ease the tension on Jackie… we’ll all wear No. 42,” Hermanski said according to Scully.
It was an effort to help prevent any sharpshooter and would-be assassin from targeting Jackie by looking solely for his jersey number.
Listen to him tell it below because it is Vin Scully, and he is awesome.