The Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers will retire the number 168 and wear a commemorative patch to honors the victims of the Oklahoma City bombing, which will mark its 25th anniversary in 2020. The number signifies the number of lives lost in the terrorist attack, which occurred April 19, 1995.
The commemorations will be held in conjunction with the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum. The team’s patch incorporates the so-called survivor tree, which is featured in the Memorial Museum’s logo. The famous elm tree in downtown Oklahoma City famously withstood the brunt of the attack and has become a symbol of the city’s enduring spirit.
“We are honored to work with the Dodgers on this special commemoration as they join our community in looking back and thinking forward,” said Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum Executive Director Kari Watkins, quoted on MiLB.com. “By doing this they help us tell this story to a new generation and to teach the senselessness of violence.”
The Dodgers will place the 168 emblem alongside the team’s other retired numbers, longtime Yankee and OKC native Bobby Murcer and, of course, Jackie Robinson.
“The events that occurred both on and after April 19, 1995 play an indelible role in the story of Oklahoma City and our community,” said OKC Dodgers President/General Manager Michael Byrnes, quoted on MiLB.com. “By taking these measures, we want to make sure that story is always at the forefront of our minds, and that we can help live up to the Memorial & Museum’s standard of remembering those who were killed, those who survived, and those changed forever.”
The team will honor first responders and hold a ceremony unveiling the 168 panel the weekend of April 18-19.