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Ceremony Will Retire No. 42 'the Right Way'

January 31, 1991|DICK WAGNER

Cal State Long Beach will honor former All-American Ed Ratleff by finally exhibiting his retired uniform No. 42 in the university gym Saturday night.

The uniform will be unveiled in a ceremony before the 49ers-New Mexico State basketball game.

The university had been embarrassed when a player wore No. 42 during a game early this season, even though Ratleff's uniform was retired in a ceremony before his final home game in 1973.

"We don't feel it was ever officially done properly by hanging a banner," said Merle Makings, director of media and marketing.

"We feel that if we do it the right way, what happened early this season will never happen again. Ed deserves that. We had his old uniform framed and will give it to him and also hang a banner."

Makings said Ratleff's picture will appear on the game program Saturday night.

But the 49er lineup inside the program will still have a picture of redshirt freshman Mike Atkinson next to the No. 42. Atkinson was assigned that number before the season by 49er coaches who were unaware that it had been retired.

"There's nothing we can do about it," said Shayne Schroeder, director of media relations. "It's pre-printed."

Ratleff, 40, holds 49er records for career scoring average (21.4) and points in a game (45).

"I think it's going to be fun," he said of the ceremony. "I think they're trying to do it the right way. I'm excited."

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