On Jackie Robinson's first and only Opening Day in the Negro Leagues, he hit third and played shortstop for the Kansas City Monarchs.
Batting second in right field that day was Walter "Bancy" Thomas, whose grandson, Orioles shortstop Richie Martin, will be wearing Robinson's No. 42 on Monday on baseball's annual day of remembrance for the player who broke the color barrier.
Thomas, Martin's grandfather on his mother Deborah's side, broke in with the Monarchs in 1936 and played for the Detroit Stars and St. Louis Stars in 1937. He returned to the Monarchs in 1944 for two seasons as their everyday right fielder.
In the second of those seasons, 1945, Robinson...