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The Meaning of Life: Bill Hall and #42

April 15th is Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball, and 2007 is the 60th anniversary of Jackie's crash through the color line.  I had already heard that the entire Dodger team is going to wear #42 that day, but that's not all:

Bill Hall will honor the memory of Jackie Robinson by wearing No. 42 when the Brewers play at St. Louis on April 15, when Major League Baseball pays tribute to the man who broke the league's color barrier.

He's in good company, too (Jeff Kent notwithstanding):

The entire Dodgers team will wear No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day. Other confirmed participants include the Giants' Barry Bonds, the Tigers' Gary Sheffield, the Astros' Carlos Lee and the Cubs' Derrek Lee.

One thing that's been interesting the last couple of years is how the Brewers racial makeup has shifted.  After Jeffrey Hammonds left, Milwaukee was a very white team, even without many dark-skinned Latino players.  I usually don't pay much attention to that kind of stuff; I certainly don't mean to suggest it was purposeful on anyone's part.  Short of a full-on Carribean signing spree a la Omar Minaya, I think there's some degree of randomness in who ends up where.

But now, of course, things have changed quite a bit.  If the goal is to get more African-American kids involved in baseball again, I can't imagine a better way to do it than to have the 2007 World Champion Brewers sporting Bill Hall, Prince Fielder, and Rickie Weeks in the middle of the lineup.

(And, of course, Ryan Braun will do his part and set an example for all the Jewish kids out there who can't play basketball.)