Apr 15, 2014; Anaheim, CA, USA; A fan of the Los Angeles Angels holds a picture of Jackie Robinson with the No. 42 during the game against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco Giants Morning Commute: Jackie Robinson Day Roundup

There was a lot of cool stuff happening yesterday for Jackie Robinson Day. As I mentioned yesterday, I love the camaraderie that happens in major league baseball that day. I also love all the stories, photos, and tweets from the baseball community. I figured this morning, we’d do a roundup of some of thing cool Jackie Robinson that came across the web yesterday.

John Shea of the SF Chronicle was killing it yesterday. Posting an article and also sending out a “what-if” article he wrote back in 2007, which happened to the 60th anniversary of Robinson’s MLB debut.

The first, from yesterday: Giants’ Monte Irvin was also a standard bearer

If events were a bit different seven decades ago, perhaps players, coaches and managers who’ll wear No. 42 on Tuesday would have worn No. 20.

No. 20 in that scenario is that of former Giants’ great Monte Irvin. Here’s what Shea has to say:

As the story goes, Dodgers executive Branch Rickey brought the subject to Irvin, a more established ballplayer than Robinson. Irvin was a five-tool player for the Newark Eagles in the Negro Leagues.

Irvin didn’t believe he was ready after three years in the war – not at full baseball strength and not wanting to let down the baseball world, he preferred to re-hone his skills before making a run at the majors – and reluctantly turned down Rickey. Irvin was discharged Sept. 1, 1945, and Rickey signed Robinson seven weeks later, Oct. 23.

“It could’ve been (me), but I don’t think about that,” Irvin told me a few years ago. “I think about Jackie getting a chance, setting a high standard and making it possible for the rest of us to come along.”

The full article is fantastic and as you know, Irvin obviously eventually made it to the big leagues.

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Shea also posted this gem from the 2007 archives speculating on the “what-if” if Robinson had indeed been traded to the Giants as was the plan before he retired.

A Giant what-if: Robinson with Mays / Brooklyn infielder had decided to retire before 1956 trade

Jackie Robinson, a San Francisco Giant?

Robinson preferred retirement.

Or maybe not…you’ll have to read to find out all about it.

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Of course, there are still ignorant and hateful people still in this world unfortunately. And these seem to be Giants fans, SMH!

 

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