Honoring Jackie

Today is really going to be a special day at Dodger Stadium and throughout baseball. There are actually still tickets available if you want to be a part of an incredible event honoring a truly great man.

There are so many great articles online to read, I can’t begin to point them all out, so instead I’ll post an email that was forwarded to me by someone at Fox and originally written by John Tejada, who is actually the College Basketball Assignment Editor at ESPN.

"On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers broke baseball’s color barrier, ending decades of segregation in America’s national pastime.

I know that if you’ve watched anything in sports or on ESPN for the past couple of weeks, you’ve been pretty much hit in the head by this fact, but as Sunday approaches, please stop and think for a second how this one day truly changed the fabric of America. If there was no Jackie, would there be a Cassius Clay? If there was no Jackie, would there be a Jordan or a Magic or a Kareem? Shaq and Kobe? Would they be household names? Jeter, Reggie, Ortiz, Manny…would any of these guys have a home in our hearts if there was no Jackie?

I never saw the man play, I never met him. All of my memories of Jackie Robinson are old videos of him stealing bases, playing the field, stealing home against the Yankees. That probably is the one thing I wish I got to see most – Jackie Robinson play ball. Just once. I grew up way too late for that. But as a black athelete and as a black coach, I look to him as a hero, not just for playing the game, but for having the courage to withstand the hatred. Unfortunately, that hatred still exists today. We still have members of society who look to minorities as second class citizens, as inferiors.

I’ve seen the hatred and lack of respect on the court and on the strip of fencing, and in my opponents when I’ve coached. 60 years later, a lot has changed, but not nearly enough. Prejudice and segregation still exist today.

So I ask you all, when you get the chance on Sunday, just stop and think about Jack Roosevelt Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodger team he played for in the summer of 1947. Tell your friends. Sit down with them and maybe have conversations about the subject. I’m thankful every day that the world had Jackie Robinson. I just wish I was able to meet him."

7 Comments

Ditto. Well put.

Josh, I can’t even begin to describe the gratitude we all owe Jackie Robinson. He is absolutely an American hero, a baseball hero, my hero. The magnitude of his task, which he played out perfectly, is beyond my grasp. I think the other hero in this story who is often forgotten is Pee Wee Reese, from Kentucky, who walked up and embraced Jackie publicly. His other team mates, some who resisted the change, soon also embraced Jackie in their hearts and fed off his energy. I am proud to have at least seen him play in televised games, along with Campy, Newk, Jim Gilliam, Joe Black. I am so pleased this is such a victory for mankind and that the Dodgers are part of this amazing feat. Not many actually change the course of history. Jackie did. Thank you Jackie Robinson. Thank you Dodgers.

If anyone is part of that the most exclusive and elite club known as ESPN Insider, could you please post a link to the Ethier article… Thanks.
Amen to both euhlman and Josh…

I was also lucky enough to see Jackie Robinson play on tv in the 50′s. his skills had started to erode but he was still the guy you wanted to make a play with the game on the line. If he had to run through a wall to win you knew his only question would have been where. As great as he was as the man who broke the color barrier, let’s remember that he was at least as good as a player. It’s great to see that all of baseball will honor him today as a player and a great human being.

today will be a great day.

Schmidt looked terrible last night. Honestly i used to pitch in high school and i still throw the ball around and i’ve had Tj surgery before but i could have throw just as fast ast Schmidt was last night. 85 for a “power” pitcher is pathetic.

Pierre sitting out last night was weird but i think it was a smart move on Grady’s part. He’s obviously pushing so a day off could help. Well it could help or it could back fire and he could start to push even more. Either way i still wish he wasn’t on the team.

Ethier has finally lost all confidence in himself. Send him to Triple A and call up Loney. Let Ethier find his swing and then call him up when he’s ready.

Still think the Dodgers should send Ethier down to the minors? (posting this on Sunday night) ;-)

Just curious – how is the right field “ball boy” that got hit in the eye with the ball in Sundays game?
Hope he’s OK – it looked fairly bad when he went down. thanx

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