By Marc Carig
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Washington Nationals first baseman Dmitri Young got his chance to honor Jackie Robinson last night, donning the legend's No. 42 jersey against the Atlanta Braves.
Young thought he'd missed his chance to honor Robinson when Sunday's game against the Mets in New York was rained out. But Major League Baseball allowed players whose games were postponed to wear the number.
"Every team gets to represent Jackie Robinson in their own special way and we didn't want to get excluded from that," said Young, whose tribute comes 60 years and one day after Robinson, the first African American to play in the big leagues, made his major league debut on April 15, 1947.
"His spirit from up above will be looking down on me," said Young, who added that the jersey will be donated to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.
"At least it's going somewhere better than my wall," he said.
As for the No. 42 road jersey made for Sunday's game, Young only offered a sly wink.
Washington will make up Sunday's rained-out game against the Mets with a day-night doubleheader on July 28 at Shea Stadium.Weather Sends Team Indoors
Bad weather kept the Nationals from taking on-field batting practice for the third time in four days. Light showers and heavy winds forced the Nationals to use indoor facilities.
"We're thinking that if we're going to make these guys suffer, just make them suffer during the game time and not bring them out there for batting practice," Manager Manny Acta said.
The team, which faced rainy weather in New York last weekend, last took batting practice outdoors on Saturday.Virginia Tech's Aftereffects
The Nationals honored the victims of yesterday's shootings at Virginia Tech with a moment of silence before the game.
The Salem Avalanche, located about 25 miles from the Virginia Tech campus, postponed its home game last night against the Potomac Nationals -- Washington's affiliate in the Class A Carolina League -- because of the shootings.