Blue Jays: Granderson’s “JRD” cleats going to the Hall of Fame

BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 10: Curtis Granderson
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 10: Curtis Granderson /

The Blue Jays will honour Jackie Robinson day on Monday after their rain out, and Curtis Granderson’s cleats are a unique tribute to the trailblazer.

The Blue Jays were supposed to take part in Jackie Robinson Day across Major League Baseball on Sunday, but unfortunately were rained out of the second straight game. Because of the stubborn weather, they and the rest of the teams that missed out on playing on the special day will honour the MLB’s first black player on Monday instead.

There is a special tribute that will come from Blue Jays’ left fielder, Curtis Granderson. Granderson is one of the leaders of the MLBPA, and has long been a great role model and advocate throughout the game. It appears his tribute for both Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby is notable enough that the Hall of Fame wants to preserve it.

On special cleats designed for Sunday’s game, Granderson has a tribute to Jackie Robinson on one side, and a tribute to Larry Doby on the other. Doby was the second African American player in Major League Baseball, and was the first to play in the American League, after Robinson famously starred with the Brooklyn Dodgers of the National League. Check out in Granderson’s video below:

For those that don’t know (perhaps there are some very new baseball fans reading this, it’s possible), Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in the big leagues. His story is one of great bravery, and something that the MLB (rightfully) feels should be honoured on an annual basis. They have even retired number “42” across the entire league, and have every player wear the number on “Jackie Robinson” day across the league.

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April the 15th is used as “JRD” because it represents the anniversary of when Robinson played his first game, back when April 15th was Opening Day in 1947. Robinson would go on to star in his ten seasons in the big leagues, becoming an MVP, the Rookie of the Year, a 6x All-Star, and slashing a career .311/.409/.447. He was anything but a publicity stunt, and was an incredible ambassador because of his performance on the field, and his personal restraint from the poor treatment he received in the trailblazing role.

Doby was called up to the big leagues in 1947 as well, and played the last 29 games with the Cleveland Indians. While Robinson had taken the initial brunt of the abuse, don’t kid yourself into thinking he made it a lot easier for Doby to come behind him. He was an excellent player in his own right, becoming a 7x All-Star, and .283/.386/.490 with 253 home runs across his 13 year career. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1998 when he was voted in by the Veteran’s Committee.

It’s a shame that the Blue Jays and several other teams were rained out on Sunday, but that doesn’t have to put a damper on honouring a couple of baseball’s legends. It’s also hard to imagine finding a classier player than Granderson to sport the cleats that will eventually end up in the Hall of Fame, a tradition that the 37 year old has been doing for awhile now. What an honour.

Next: Blue Jays set to benefit from weekend cancellations