42 was Jackie Robinson's uniform number with the Brooklyn Dodgers when he broke the color barrier in 1947. It was retired by every team in baseball in 1997, on the 50th anniversary of Robinson's debut, although players already wearing the number, like Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees and Butch Huskey of the New York Mets, were allowed to keep it.
The number is reissued on Jackie Robinson Day (April 15). At first, players who requested so were allowed to wear it as a special tribute that day. In 2009, MLB announced that all players would wear number 42 that day.
Notable players who have worn this number
- Bobby Bolin
- Jerry Coleman
- Dave Henderson
- Butch Huskey
- Ron Kittle
- Skip Lockwood
- Rick Mahler
- Mariano Rivera, retired by the New York Yankees
- Jackie Robinson, retired by the Los Angeles Dodgers and across Major League Baseball
- Sonny Siebert
- Bruce Sutter, retired by the St. Louis Cardinals
- Mo Vaughn
- Ken Belson: "Rivera Is Taking Robinson's 42 to Its Last Stop", The New York Times, March 13, 2013.