Cards honor trailblazing scout on Jackie Robinson Day

Cards honor trailblazing scout on Jackie Robinson Day

ST. LOUIS -- For the seventh straight season on Wednesday, all players and uniformed personnel donned No. 42 as part of Major League Baseball's Jackie Robinson Day celebration.

Cardinals players found their No. 42 jerseys hanging at their lockers upon arriving to Busch Stadium for the second game of a three-game series against the Brewers. In addition to having everyone on the field wear the same number, the bases for Wednesday's game were marked for the occasion.

"It was a turning point for our game and for our world," manager Mike Matheny said of Robinson, who broke baseball's color barrier when he appeared for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field on April 15, 1947. "I think there have been so many well done movies and documentaries on the impact and just how he was the right person at the right time to do what he did. He was courageous. And just following his life and the quotes that he had, he continues to make an impact on people's lives. That's success."

Robinson's No. 42 was retired league-wide in 1997, and then-Commissioner Bud Selig first officially established Jackie Robinson Day in 2004.

Dr. Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones Jr. (right), with Branch Rickey in 1964. (Cardinals)

In conjunction with Wednesday's celebration of Robinson's career, the Cardinals recognized Dr. Ralph Waldo Emerson Jones Jr., one of the first African-American scouts to work for the Cardinals. In 1964, Jones was hired as a special assistant to Branch Rickey, who had recently returned to the Cardinals to serve as a general consultant. Jones scouted a 13-state area for the organization and received a championship ring later that season when the Cardinals won the World Series.

Jones, who died in 1989, lost that ring decades ago, but his family was presented with a new championship ring by the Cardinals during an on-field ceremony on Wednesday.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.