PHOENIX -- Curtis Granderson proudly showed off the pair of cleats he had custom made for Tuesday's Jackie Robinson Day celebration at Chase Field -- black with white trim and the words "Thank You Jackie" printed on the back. As he has in previous years, Granderson plans to auction off the cleats, with proceeds going to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
"It's awesome to get a chance to do it," said Granderson, who sat out Tuesday's game due to injury but wore the cleats on the dugout bench. "Not only people of African-American color, but people of color all over the world get a chance to play this great game of baseball because of the things that he did … to make this game as diverse as it is today."
Granderson, like every player throughout the Majors, also wore Robinson's retired uniform No. 42 on the 67th anniversary of his breaking baseball's color barrier.
After fellow Mets outfielder Eric Young first wore No. 42 in a previous season with the Rockies, he framed the jersey and hung it on a wall in his house. Young, who was still with Colorado for last year's Jackie Robinson Day festivities, hopes to do the same with his new Mets jersey.
"It's huge just having the opportunity to wear it today in a big league game, in a big league stadium," Young said. "Obviously before Jackie, I wouldn't have had this opportunity. So for a player like me, it's tremendous."