Thursday, May 10, 2012
Jackie Robinson was something special...
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
I needed a night off from working out. I hadn’t missed a day in over two weeks and I was getting slightly burnt out. I reached this conclusion only after driving to the park and just not wanting to get out of the car and get started. It felt good at that moment…though later I’d wished I’d done something.
Instead, I headed home and got the necessary supplies together to make a killer smoothie. I was going to Don’s to watch Inning Six of the Ken Burns documentary on Baseball. I arrived at his place around seven with my cooler and appetite. We’ve kind of turned ‘Baseball’ night into a spaghetti dinner and I’m always okay with that.
The documentary had reached the 1940’s…a very historic time for baseball and this country. The summer of 1941 held two of baseball’s most memorable accomplishments with Joe DiMaggio setting what most baseball experts believe is an unbreakable record, hitting safely in 56 consecutive games. Amazing as this feat is, you might say it was matched by Ted Williams, whose batting average of .406 would be the last time any hitter would top 400 for a single season. It was also the decade when a world would suffer through the most devastating war the planet had ever experienced, professional women’s baseball would be played…and Jackie Robinson’s breaking the color barrier of Major League Baseball would become possibly the single biggest event affecting the social fabric in this country’s history. He was an outstanding ballplayer…able to completely change the complexion of any game when he got on base by disrupting the pitching and defense with his blazing speed and daring base running. But as a human being, the things he was forced to endure without comment or displays of anger because of an agreement he reached with Dodgers General Manager, Branch Rickey, were simply unimaginable for any white American. I have always admired this man, the way he carried himself and the hardships he endured with complete dignity, that I called my son ‘Jackie’ in his honor.