It’s Jackie Robinson Day all across baseball, as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the breaking of Major League Baseball’s color barrier – a change that improved the game and had ramifications that made the world a better place.
Everybody in the major leagues is going to wear uniform number 42 today. Here’s a round-up of the other MLB-sponsored celebrations around the sport. Jackie’s 99-year-old widow Rachel Robinson will be in attendance at Dodger Stadium tonight, which is awesome.
Tacoma’s Triple-A franchise history dates to 1960, when Cheney Stadium was built and the Tacoma Giants were accepted into the Pacific Coast League. By that time baseball was fully integrated and there were several Black players on the original Tacoma Giants. Tacoma did have lower-level minor league baseball prior to 1960, and our own website has a story from last year on early Black baseball stars from our region.
As for today, we’ve got game four of the six-game road series against the Isotopes. My understanding is that Albuquerque has a set of No. 42 uniforms they are going to be breaking out tonight, so wish me luck when they bring in a new reliever.
Also in the minors, today is the day that the pitch clock is going to start to be enforced. Or so MLB claims. We’ve had the pitch clock for years and umpires never enforce it, so I’m not expecting them to start doing it now. We’ll see if anything changes.
YESTERDAY: Once again the Rainiers were in a big hole early, trailing 7-1 after two innings as Carlos Perez hit a three-run homer and Colton Welker launched a grand slam. And once again the Rainiers made a comeback attempt, eventually bringing the tying run to the plate in the eighth inning, ultimately losing to Albuquerque 11-8. Mike Ford went 4-for-5 with a homer, and Kevin Padlo blasted two homers.
TODAY: Tacoma Rainiers (3-6) at Albuquerque Isotopes (3-6), 6:05 PT.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Colorado Rockies.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Warren Schaeffer.
SEASON SERIES: Albuquerque leads, 2-1.
PITCHERS: RHP Juan Mercedes (0-0, 0.00) at RHP Zach Neal (0-1, 16.20)
This is the Triple-A debut for Mercedes, who is up from Low-A Modesto to make this start. Not only that, this will be his first start since 2019 – although he did pitch four innings in his lone relief appearance for Modesto this year, so he is somewhat stretched out.
ROSTER MOVES: Catcher Josh Morgan was injured running out a ground ball yesterday and is being placed on the injured list, and catcher David Sheaffer is on his way in. Sheaffer has appeared in games for Tacoma in each of the last two seasons (2019 and 2021), and in 2019 he pulled off one of my favorite minor league tricks: he homered at least once for each of the four Mariners full-season minor league affiliates. Also, the Rainiers have transferred pitcher Kelvin Nunez back to Low-A Modesto, and added LHP Brayan Perez from extended spring training.
HOT HITTERS: Zach Green has hit safely in six of his seven games played… Mike Ford is 9-for-13 and has scored seven runs over the first three games of the Albuquerque series… Forrest Wall is 4-for-8 over his last two games.
OPPONENT NEWS: Albuquerque had a rough opening series, dropping five of six games at Oklahoma City… third baseman Elehuris Montero is considered the top prospect on the ‘Topes roster… former Rainiers infielder and Mariners 2013 first round draft pick D.J. Peterson is on the Albuquerque roster, and he homered in the series opener on Tuesday… other former Rainiers now with the ‘Topes include Tim Lopes, Zach Lee, Dillon Overton, and their hitting coach Jordan Pacheco.
BROADCAST: All games will be broadcast free on a live audio stream which is available right here.
Unfortunately, there is no traditional terrestrial radio station carrying the games at this time.
PCL SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to broadcasts and Gameday screens right here.
- The Mariners overcame an extreme wind and beat the White Sox yesterday, 5-1. Former Rainiers Jarred Kelenic and Cal Raleigh both homered.
- Kelenic was optimistic that he was going to get some hits.
- ESPN contributor Doug Glanville has a good article on how Jack Robinson’s story impacted his family.