Following Griffey's lead, Reds honor Jackie
Players, coaches wear No. 42 on 67th anniversary of breaking color barrier
CINCINNATI -- After the Reds and Pirates completed Monday's suspended game early Tuesday evening, they returned to their clubhouses and emerged 40 minutes later wearing different uniform numbers.
Not only were they different than Game 1, they simultaneously managed to be all the same, too.
Continuing a tradition started by former Reds star Ken Griffey Jr., in 2007, every player and coaching staff member on the field wore the league-wide retired No. 42 for Jackie Robinson Day.
"It's cool. It's one of those things, not just in sports but in history of the United States, it was so big," Reds shortstop Zack Cozart said. "For us to be a part of it and wear the [No.] 42 is a really big honor. He was huge, not just for African-Americans but for Latin American players and getting those guys in the game. It's been really good for the game."
Included during pregame festivities at Great American Ball Park, former Reds player Chuck Harmon received the 2014 Powel Crosley Jr. Award, which was created to honor individuals who "exemplified the former Reds owner's spirit of dedication, devotion and service to the club over an extended period of time."
Harmon, who turns 90 on April 23, became the first African-American to play for the Reds 60 years ago, on April 17, 1954. He also signed autographs and met with fans at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.
Just before first pitch at the exchange of lineup cards, Harmon served as the Reds' honorary captain.
Clay Holland, from Holland and Holland, Inc., accepted the 2014 Most Valuable Diverse Business Partner Award, presented annually by the Reds and Major League Baseball. Reds great Joe Morgan was on hand for the presentation.
Players and coaches from the historically African-American Kentucky State University and Trevecca Nazarene University baseball teams were also recognized on the field.
"Without question, it's a notable acknowledgment of a huge achievement by an outstanding man," Reds manager Bryan Price said of Robinson. "That can't be overlooked by any means."