DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — If you were to put a face to Major League Baseball’s proposed plan to eliminate affiliation for 42 minor league teams, that face would belong to none other than Jackie Robinson.
In its zest to declare war against the minor leagues, one of the 42 teams MLB is attempting to wipe off the face of the baseball planet after the 2020 season is the team that plays at Jackie Robinson Ballpark, a gorgeous little stadium on City Island along the Halifax River.
The Jack opened in 1914 as City Island Ball Park and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is home to the Daytona Tortugas, the Reds’ High-A affiliate in the Florida State League the past five years, after 22 years as a Cubs affiliate.
Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLB picked the wrong fight. They picked the wrong number, too — wanting to eliminate 42 teams, including the Staten Island Yankees.
The No. 42 was Jackie’s number, of course, the number baseball celebrates every year on Jackie Robinson Day.
Rick French, one of the Tortugas’ three owners, is not going to let MLB destroy his team and the history of this special ballpark, where Jackie played his first…