But there's no secret story behind Robinson possessing that number. As a case in point, Robinson wore No. 10 as a member of the Montreal Royals in 1946, his only season playing in the Dodgers' Minor League organization."He just wore the number John Griffin gave him," said Langill, referring to the clubhouse attendant affectionately called "The Senator." Robinson isn't the only player who's had his No. 42 retired in team sports, but there has been only one other in Major League Baseball history. The Cardinals retired Bruce Sutter's No. 42 last year after the right-handed reliever was elected to the Hall of Fame. In the National Football League, quarterbacks Sid Luckman of the Chicago Bears and Charlie Conerly of the New York Giants and defensive back Ronnie Lott of the San Francisco 49ers all had their No. 42s retired. In the NBA, Nate Thurmond of the San Francisco Warriors, Connie Hawkins of the Phoenix Suns and James Worthy of the Los Angeles Lakers are retired 42s. And finally, Pat Tillman, a linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State, who left football to join the U.S. Army and was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan, had his No. 42 retired by the university.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.