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Sunday, February 9, 2014

Jackie Robinson - "42"

Last night I watched "42" a movie about Jackie Robinson, the first black baseball player to play in the professional league. Having been born and bred in Brooklyn, I am  proud it was my hometown that drafted him to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Although the "main" reason may have originally been a "green" to be made by attracting the black fans, I have to give the organization credit for bucking the racism that was clearly too prevalent throughout the United States during that time. They stood to lose, just as much as gain, as they also faced the possibility of boycotting, threats, etc. from those who could not fathom a black man on the fields, as well as other places, with white men.

Naturally, the real hero of the story is Jackie, and not just because of his baseball talents. I could only imagine the torture it was for him to keep his temper cool amongst the verbal and physical torment he endured. He kept it under wraps as best as he could, no matter what was thrown at him, and sometimes that included a baseball thrown to the head. When that happened, Jackie would pick himself up, brush himself off, and swallow the anger that most men, or women, most likely would have spewed had they been on the receiving end. By taking the high road, and concentrating on his love of baseball rather than the hatred of others, Jackie not only became a great baseball player, but a shining role model to many kids, black and white.

See this kid in the trailer...this is Ed Charles as a child, one of my favorite New York Mets who played in the 1969 World Series.

If you haven't seen the movie I highly recommend it. I have to admit "42" made me weep, not just for Jackie, but for what our country once was, and probably in some places, still is.

Here are some Jackie Robinson quotes:

"Baseball is like a poker game. Nobody wants to quit when he's losing; nobody wants you to quit when you're ahead."

"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."

"I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me... all I ask is that you respect me as a human being."

"It kills me to lose. If I'm a troublemaker, and I don't think that my temper makes me one, then it's because I can't stand losing. That's the way I am about winning, all I ever wanted to do was finish first."

"Life is not a spectator sport. If you're going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you're wasting your life."

 Jackie Robinson - January 31, 1919 - October 24, 1972

1 comment:

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie too. This country has certainly come a long way, but still needs to improve.