Pittsburgh Pirates’ Matt Joyce, left, celebrates with teammates Jordy Mercer, center, and Josh Harrison after hitting a three-run home run off Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Jimmy Nelson during the seventh inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Friday, April 15, 2016. All players wore the No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

When it comes to Major League Baseball, 2017 is no different than 1997.

For the past 20 years, sports writers and talking heads have chimed in on the significance of Jackie Robinson’s taking the field for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.  Then, there is the inevitable year-over-year comparative analysis on the number of African-American ballplayers suiting up (or, not) across the various Club rosters.  Of course, that breakdown usually has a weeks-worth of legs.

As many of you know, all team personnel are required to wear #42.  That’s cool.  Yet, jerseys from each of the 30 franchises will be authenticated for auction as “game-used”, the game day bases and whatnot, and it’s back to business as usual Sunday.  Meanwhile, the Jackie Robinson Museum at 75 Varick Street in New York City still hasn’t opened.  

By the way, anybody else noticing there is no longer a Civil Rights Game in MLB?  Could it be league commissioner Bob Manfred, with co-operation from Tony Clark and his Major League Baseball Players’ Association (MLBPA), has decided that the event ain’t relevant in our so-called post-racial society?

I don’t know.  But, I would bet my bottom dollar that it was a business decision to NOT stage it.


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