Home Local NewsLocal SportsOakland Athletics’ Lawrence Butler excited to wear Jackie Robinson’s ’42’

Athletics’ Lawrence Butler excited to wear Jackie Robinson’s ’42’

by admin

OAKLAND —  Lawrence Butler will shed his usual jersey for No. 42 Monday night when the Athletics begin a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals.

So will everyone else. As the lone African-American player on the A’s roster, wearing Jackie Robinson’s number means something to the 23-year-old right fielder. Every year on April 15 since 2004, players and coaches from all teams wear No. 42 to commemorate the day Robinson broke the Major League Baseball color barrier with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947.

The number has been retired for all teams other than on April 15. Butler, who normally wears No. 4, is looking forward to adding the “2.”

“It will mean a lot,” Butler said before the A’s closed out a three-game series Sunday with a 7-6 win against Washington. “I’ve never worn that number, and to have a day where everyone can wear it — not only black guys, but everybody — is pretty cool. He paved the way for me and a lot of other guys in the big leagues.”

Butler, regarded as one of the top prospects in the A’s organization, won the job as the starting right fielder in spring training. He has started slowly at the plate, but on Friday night against Washington accounted for both Oakland runs with a gargantuan home run to right field and an RBI single to left in the 10th inning of a 2-1 win.

In a 7-6 come-from-behind win by the Athletics Sunday against the Nationals, Butler hit a double off the top of the fence and had two singles — including a run-scoring single in a six-run sixth inning.

A sixth-round draft pick out of high school by the A’s in 2018, Butler, who was born in New Jersey but grew up in Atlanta, was aware of Robinson’s story as a youth but didn’t totally grasp its significance.

“At a young age, they’d kind of tell you about him but you don’t really know a lot until you get older,” Butler said. “You get in this game and you see there’s not a lot of people like you and you embrace him more.”

While many African-American athletes have gravitated to other sports, Butler got hooked on baseball at an early age.

“I played all three sports at a young age, but a lot of my friends, we just loved baseball,” Butler said. “The majority of the teams I played on were all black. I always felt like I had more fun on the baseball field than with basketball and football. I played basketball and football all the way up to the ninth grade, but baseball was a different feeling.”

What Butler has learned about Robinson as a player and a person came through reading, word of mouth and film clips.

“Family man. Took care of business,” Butler said. “Handled everything with all the adversity going around him like a professional.”

Comprehending what Robinson experienced to blaze a trail isn’t easy for Butler.

“What he went through, most of us wouldn’t have made it through half a season,” Butler said. “The stuff he did, with everybody talking about him, everything going on outside of baseball, and even people saying things to him on the baseball field. He just kept playing, fought through adversity.”

Like Butler, A’s manager Mark Kotsay gained respect for all Robinson achieved through perspective provided by age.

“The meaning behind Jackie Robinson Day, I became more aware of what it really meant when I got to high school and college,” Kotsay said. “It’s an honor to put that jersey on, really. I’ve been blessed and fortunate to be in the game for awhile and be part of this game and had a chance to wear that jersey as a player and now as a manager.”

You may also like

CA News 247 is your one-stop website for the latest US and California news and updates, follow us now to get the news that maters.

About Links

Sections

Newsletter

Subscribe my Newsletter for new blog posts, tips & new photos. Let's stay updated!

Laest News

Post Politics Now: House speaker vote enters 4th day as McCarthy tries to sell a deal Remembering TCU’s last national title, way back in 1939 US Open champ Ash Barty announces she’s pregnant, a year after retirement Supporters raise millions to rebrand Jan. 6 rioters as ‘patriots’

Copyright © 2023 – CA News 247. All Right Reserved.

Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy