Tuesday was Jackie Robinson Day. (Biography.com)
Tuesday was Jackie Robinson Day, the annual tribute to the first black player in the majors, 67 years ago to the day. As you all know, Robinson’s No. 42 was retired across the majors several years ago, and on Jackie Robinson Day, every single player wears No. 42.
Yes, plenty of people are growing tiresome of this annual event and the invariable confusion it brings when watching games on that day.
To those people, we offer the following rebuttal: screw you. Suck it up for a day, and use that time to think about what Robinson had to endure over the course of his career, and really his whole life. The man with game-changing speed (see video below) could never run fast enough to escape the hatred directed his way.
Speaking of which, a couple of months ago, we finally saw the film 42. While it was quite enjoyable, we feel like the true depth of Robinson’s plight was glossed over to an extent.
There’s a reason this guy went grey so early and died far too young. He was carrying around a weight from years of ugly abuse, and the film did not leave us with a sense of the true scope of his suffering. The fact that he died at the tender age of 53 (yes, diabetes played a huge role here), was not even mentioned. We find it hard to believe that his ordeal in breaking the colour barrier and the enormous burden he carried was not a factor in his untimely death.
At any rate, we just didn’t get the sense that the importance and magnitude of what Robinson accomplished was portrayed well in 42. Did he cure cancer? No. Did he usher in world peace? No. But Robinson’s place in history deserved greater impact than 42 delivered.
- Jesse Jackson praised Bud Selig for the strides baseball has made in the last 20 years in terms of opportunities for minorities. Jackson is right, of course, but we certainly aren’t ready to give Bud credit for anything positive.
- Only 7.8 per cent of MLB players are black, and that’s worrisome. Baseball continues to lose the better athletes to football and basketball.
- Mike Napoli suffered a dislocated finger on Tuesday. The good news is, it’s not broken, so perhaps he’ll avoid a DL stint. At the very least, Napoli should miss a few days. If you need help at first base, Milwaukee’s Mark Reynolds might be a decent choice, although he’s not exactly hot this week. Chris Colabello, who lashed another three hits Tuesday and has now driven in 15 runs in 13 games, is also still out there in many leagues — for now.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below what you thought of the movie 42.
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