CLEVELAND -- As he has done every year since joining the Mets, Curtis Granderson showed up to the clubhouse on Friday -- Jackie Robinson Day -- with a fresh box of spikes in his locker. The outside of the left shoe featured the number 42 in large, gray letters. Emblazoned on the right shoe were the words "Jackie Robinson Day."
Every year, the spikes are a bit different, but their symbolism remains very much the same: a way for Granderson to honor Robinson even beyond Major League Baseball's league-wide celebration.
• Jackie's legacy pushes game forward
"You always talk about the history of the game," Granderson said. "I think this is one of the big pieces of the history of the game to make it look like it does now, with just the number of different countries represented. Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier when he did, that opened up opportunities for the game to be as diverse as it is today. So this is to thank him and get a chance to represent him."
Like all players throughout baseball, Granderson wore a No. 42 jersey Friday for the first of the Mets' three games against the Indians at Progressive Field. The shoes were a personal touch that Granderson used to customize his look, as he also did with pink spikes on Mother's Day last year.
"Of all the days out of the year," Granderson said, "this is definitely a big one."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.