"As a player it means so much to what we're all doing," Hosmer said while standing in front of his locker before the Royals opened the three-game series in Oakland. "It's done up right. It's a special day for a lot of people and we enjoy being a part of it."
Like the other 29 teams in the Majors, every Kansas City player and coach wore No. 42 Friday in honor of Robinson, who broke baseball's color barrier 69 years ago.
Robinson has ties to Kansas City. He spent one year 1945 with the Monarchs while playing in the Negro Leagues before eventually signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers and making his Major League debut on April 15, 1947.
"It's definitely a special day," Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain said. "He definitely got everything started for us. Me personally, I don't think I could have dealt with it. It's something that you've got to be strong-minded to deal personally to deal with all of that."
That, Hosmer says, is why the day means so much.
"It's all very special for us to get to wear that jersey number for one day because of how courageous Jackie was, not only what he did for the game but what he did for the world at that time," Hosmer said.