Hoes looks forward to wearing Robinson's 42
ARLINGTON -- The chance to wear the No. 42 of Jackie Robinson is something Astros outfielder L.J. Hoes has been anticipating for quite some time. Hoes, who has never been in the Major Leagues on Jackie Robinson Day, will get that chance Tuesday when the Astros and Royals wear the number at Minute Maid Park.
"It means a lot, just thinking about what he's done for all minorities in baseball," Hoes said. "Being African American, it's something that's going to be very special, and I'm very excited. Without him, I wouldn't have this opportunity to be able to play Major League Baseball. Just realizing what he went through to create an opportunity for everybody to play Major League Baseball, it's something that's tremendous."
All of Major League Baseball will celebrate Robinson breaking the color barrier on Tuesday. This celebration includes all players wearing Robinson's retired No. 42 on their jerseys as well as special pregame ceremonies. When the Astros take the field on Tuesday night, each Astros player will be accompanied by a player from the RBI program.
In addition, manager Bo Porter, minority ownership partner Shaw Taylor, former Astros slugger Jimmy Wynn, several Astros players and players from the Astros Urban Youth Academy and RBI program will attend a Jackie Robinson Night reception prior to Tuesday's game.
"It's always special wearing No. 42," Astros pitcher Jerome Williams said. "It means a lot, especially being African American. A couple of years ago, that was my first game I pitched against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, and I wore 42 and it was awesome. It was an honor to wear No. 42 and it puts everything in perspective, and I know how important that number is."