By ZAC MILBANK
The No.42 guernsey will always be special to Norwood’s Ed Smart.
Approaching his 100th Statewide Super League game against Adelaide in Sunday’s First Semi-Final, Smart will be the first player in the Redlegs’ rich 141-year history to have his name etched on the No.42 locker at The Parade.
Speaking on SANFL Radio, the dual premiership player said he thought about changing numbers after playing in the club’s 2012 premiership but decided to make the No.42 his own after watching a film about legendary US baseballer Jackie Robinson.
Robinson, who passed away in 1972, was viewed a significant trailblazer as the first African American to play at a professional level in the modern era.
As result, no Major League Baseball teams in the US allow their players to wear the No.42 after retiring the number in Robinson’s honour in 1997.
In 2004, an exception was made when the MLB nominated April 15 as Jackie Robinson Day, in which all players wear the No.42 annually to recognise what Robinson achieved on and off the field.
Originally from the Onkaparinga Valley Football Club in the Hills, Smart made his way to Woods Street in the Under-16s in 2009.
Since then, the 26-year-old has developed an enormous love for the Redlegs, particularly after featuring in the 2012 and 2014 premiership victories.
First chosen as a ”small” forward, the qualified construction manager has evolved into Norwood’s Mr Fixit in that he can play a variety of roles at the request of coach Jarrod Cotton.