The A’s and the Angels players all wore “42’’ Tuesday to honor Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color barrier on April 15, 1947.
The Robinson story is part of the discussion of race and color in the United States, so much so that it’s easy to forget that the story doesn’t always carry as well overseas.
A’s left fielder Yoenis Cespedes said during all his time growing up in the insular society that is Cuba, he never heard about Robinson.
“Most of what I know about him is from the movie,’’ Cespedes said through interpreter Ariel Prieto, referring to the biography of Robinson “42’’ that came out before last season. “To know that everyone is going to wear his number to me means he had to be one of the best in the world.’’
Chili Davis was born in Jamaica. didn’t come to the U.S. until he was 10 and by his own admission was late to the game.
“I didn’t know about Jackie until I was 14, maybe 15,’’ Davis said. “I came here not knowing any baseball, then I had to learn the game, learn the rules. Learning the history came later.’’
Davis almost never wears his No. 30 jersey, preferring instead to go with a windbreaker in A’s green or gold. On Tuesday, however, he said he’d wear the jersey.
“For Jackie Robinson? Absolutely,’’ he said.