Wearing No. 42 'means a lot' to Bradley

Wearing No. 42 'means a lot' to Bradley

CHICAGO -- As Jackie Bradley Jr. ran out to center field for the Red Sox on Tuesday night, he felt privileged to have No. 42 on his back, in honor of Jackie Robinson.

Every player in the game wore that number on Tuesday in keeping with the recent tradition of Jackie Robinson Day.

"It means a lot," said Bradley. "Everybody is representing Jackie Robinson for that special day and giving thanks for everything he's done for the game of baseball, for all sports. It's just a special day."

As an African-American, Bradley learned quickly about Robinson during his youth.

"I think it was something I knew at a very early age, especially being African-American," said Bradley. "I think probably before I even started playing baseball, I knew all about Jackie Robinson."

Bradley enjoyed seeing the motion picture "42" that depicted Robinson's life.

"It was something, kind of like a recap for me, because I had known so much about him, I had seen documentaries before the actual movie and it was great that I could see a modern-times version of it," Bradley said. "I saw the Jackie Robinson documentary when he actually played himself in the movie. To see it nowadays, it was still pretty cool."

Red Sox manager John Farrell is grateful that baseball has a day to honor Robinson's legacy.

"This is a great day for the game, to acknowledge all that he's meant to society," Farrell said. "Personally, I could never even fathom what he went through, the challenges that he faced. But I think it's rightfully done that we all wear his number tonight. And this is also a way that baseball has reflected society. Without being too philosophical, this is a great day and very deserving for Jackie and his family."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.