We remember #42 again and again and again and …
Okay … okay … I GET IT ALREADY!!! Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier and was a damned good ballplayer. So was Larry Doby. And what about the other great black players who came before Jackie? I don’t know about you, but I’m all “Jackied out”. This year marks the 60th anniversary of JR’s debut and next year we’ll celebrate the 61st and then the 62nd and … Didn’t we just celebrate the 50th anniversary of his 100th homerun last year or something like that???? ENOUGH!!!
He accomplished some great things in his time … no doubt … but he wasn’t MLK or Rosa Parks when it came to the civil rights movement. He played baseball for pete’s sake. And in that regard, he wasn’t Hammerin’ Hank or the Say Hey Kid … he was a scrappy .311 career hitter and disruptive on the basepaths for some great Dodger teams. So was Davey Lopes!
So there’s two things here. 1) I’m tired of the constant honoring and remembrance of Jackie Robinson … I know he was a man of great courage and character and a damned good ballplayer. So was Ted Williams … try to look at a bio of his life and not be impressed … but we don’t hear or read anything much about Teddy Ballgame. Ditto Roberto Clemente. 2) And why does Jackie get all the credit for breaking the color line??? Why don’t we remember Larry Doby in the same fanatical way??? He paralleled Robinson’s feats at the same time in the American League. And he was pretty damned good, too.
So let’s spread the love around a little more. Let’s try to be a bit more DIVERSE in our praise of accomplishments and feats. Let’s not exclude the other great people/athletes to focus solely on one guy so often. Let’s “re-balance the playing field” so to speak. Isn’t that what Jackie would’ve wanted???
Extra credit question: Do you even think Manny knows who Jackie Robinson was???