The California League season opens this Thursday, April 3, and as usual there are plenty of festivities.
The Quakes open their season at The Diamond in Lake Elsinore against the Storm, and the Storm is understandably honoring Jake Peavy.
Peavy, who went 7-5 with a 3.08 ERA for the Storm in 2001, won the National League Cy Young Award last year. So he’ll be on hand at The Diamond to throw out the first pitch (the Padres play a day game at home that day). His number 22 will be retired as well. But not before one final stunt by the team.
You might remember the Dodgers honoring Jackie Robinson with every player wearing No. 42 jerseys in a game last season. The Storm liked it so much, all the players are supposed to be wearing No. 22 Peavy jerseys for Thursday’s game.
I have a problem with that. The Jackie Robinson tribute was special, one to honor someone who meant so much to the game of baseball. When you do a stunt like having everyone wear the same jersey, it had better be for a good reason. The 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier is a good reason. I think a few other players on other teams got permission to do that as well, which was pretty cool.
Doing it for Jake Peavy, to me, belittles the Jackie Robinson tribute. Retire Peavy’s number, fine. Have everyone wear No. 22 Peavy jerseys? Ridiculous.
As a follow-up, the Reds on opening day did something similar for Joe Nuxhall (they wore the jerseys before the game, but didn’t during the game except for the startng pitcher) Nuxhall was a former Reds pitcher and broadcaster who was legendary in Cncinnati, but whom passed away in the offseason. I think it was a fitting tribute for Nuxhall, so I don’t have a problem with that either.