Jackie Robinson , story still resonates 75 years after his MLB debut

Jackie Robinson , story still resonates 75 years after his MLB debut

Let’s know about Jackie Robinson. Five years ago during one of my eldest daughter’s first Little League games of the season, I watched her bounce to first base on every pitch. It was clear that she was imitating someone, and she only saw me play one game at the time, she was a Hall of Fame game when she was 3 years old. She was definitely not copying me.

She set out to steal Aadhaar at every opportunity.

When pressured to describe their sudden love affair with stealing bases and moving aggressively on every pitch, he dropped a name:

Jackie Robinson

Before this season of baseball, my daughter, who is turning 13 this summer, watched the movie “42” at home, with parental safety on full alert. We wondered if it was appropriate for his age, but we also knew that Robinsons story was so important that he missed the opportunity to share it in a medium that spoke well to fans of this generation. Is. : Film Entertainment

42’s legacy lives on for 75 years when Robinson made his big league debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Glanville: Number 42’s story resonates 75 years later;

Schoenfield: Why Robinson was better than you realized;

Rogers: How MLB’s only black double play combo is passing on Robinsons legacy

By this time, our four children – a son and three daughters – already had an early and personal understanding of some of the dynamics of running in the United States: that sometimes the weight and strength of a race can take you off your feet. can remove. , no matter what. Ready you think you might be. But we framed them for a terrifying portrayal of Philadelphia Flames manager Ben Chapman, as well as how Florida spring training would endanger Robinson and his family.

The film resonated, as can be seen from the diamond imitation of my daughter. All my kids would be fans of baseball player Jackie Robinson right now, but it was important for my wife and I to tell them the whole Jackie Robinson story. The person who testified in the court took out a march on the streets, opened the bank. Jackie Robinson wanted equality, which meant an open door for anyone to play baseball — or something.

Robinson spent the rest of his life influencing other areas of American life. He had no intention of halting development on a first-come, first-served basis, and his post-baseball efforts became an extension of his Hall of Fame career, winning the conscience of the boardroom, the political elite, and powerhouses including MLB. The line he crossed when he retired on target was not the end line, but the starting line. His integration of baseball was an early domino in the pursuit of the civil rights that would come later, and even without a bat in his hand, he was a part of it. It helps paint a complete picture of how Robinson remains important 75 years after he entered Major League Baseball: It was the kind of change that resonated and endured.

Doug Glenwell with Rachel Robinson in Cuba in 2016. Doug Glenwell

Like my children, when I was growing up in New Jersey, I was introduced to the story of Jackie Robinson. His story has always been larger than life to me, as it was to so many kids, young baseball players, and black America. Jackie and her family are a royalty to us and yet they somehow feel close at every turn. But I was lucky enough to have Jackie help get me even closer through this opportunity – the chance to play Major League Baseball.

I first met his widow, Rachel, before the 1991 MLB Draft. I was blown away by what I saw at the age of 20.

In 1998, while I was playing for the Flays, Jackie’s daughter, Sharon Robinson, went on a tour inspired by her family principles. It was called “Breaking the Barrier” and was a teaching principle, so would join Sharon in big league classes to talk about Jackie’s story (the program still exists today). I was selected to meet him in Philadelphia, the city where I went to college and where I used to play, to meet with students. The opportunity was real — it took me a while to absorb what it meant to be a representative of Jackie Robinson, to know that his daughter would share my story with the next generation… to know that I was a part of it. His story has become .

I’ve worked extensively over the past two decades to share Robinsons story, including an interview with Rachel in Cuba in 2016, and there’s always been a little disappointment inside, because I’m worried. How will Jackie Robinsons legacy survive? , This is one of the greatest American stories of all time, but like any other story, it can fade over time. A big step in maintaining it is sharing it with children who may be his great-grandchildren.

I’ve seen the effect for myself, after talking to players on the UCLA baseball team, a team Jackie once played as a player in four games during his college days. Today, on Jackie Robinson Day, in preparation for the game between Stanford and UCLA, I interviewed the two sons of my former teammate, Eric Keros. I learned how much he knew about Jackie, and how much his coach John Savage promised to tell his story.

Then came the day when my personal relationship with Robinson grew into my own family. This friendship has only grown stronger since meeting Sharon on this tour two decades ago. A few years ago, we were both playing phone tag, and when my eldest daughter was in the car, she called back. So he talked. For me, it was a heartwarming experience – listening to him give notes to two daughters of grown-up lasers, talking about gymnastics and their childhoods. I just lost my way.

At that very moment, for the sake of my daughter, Jackie Robinson passed away.

Part of this Robinsons story is a universal example of what we all want from the world: tolerance, respect, inclusion, justice. Robinson did it with grace, fire, exceptional skill and a message that called for equality for all.

It helps that he can do it through play — as Kyle Curos said during my interview with Dugout at UCLA. “It’s not like he was just a great player, he was,” Caruso told me. We used to influence many people, and that is what we should ultimately try to do, leave a positive lasting impression on the world we are in. ,

Baseball gave Robinson a microphone, and he used it not to enhance his personal success on the field, but to compete and change the world.

This is a wonderful lesson for any generation.

Sharon has written several books about her family and her father’s legacy, one of which is a memoir from the year she was 13 (“Child of the Dream: A Memoir of 1963”) and another (“Steeling Home: An Intimate Family”) Portrait by Jackie Robinsons daughter (about her father’s home life during his “retirement” — which was really nothing. (As Jackie Dwight wrote in a letter to Eisenhower: “Since I stopped playing, I’ve become more aggressive.”) There are people who walk all the time, so they get pulled over. many directions.

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An entire nation – including Martin Luther King Jr. and a long list of US presidents – was watching his father. But he will spend Dad’s Day in New York. And he’ll take the time to check the ice on their lake to see if it’s frozen enough for him to skate. About it, Sharon in “Steeling Home” would write the most beautiful quote I’ve ever read:

It was his father’s official job to check the ice on the lake to determine his safety for skating. We kids stood on the shore and said words of encouragement when Dad was walking on the snow covered with snow. Before he could put one big foot in front of the other, he patted the snow with his broom. Having felt like this forever, Dad would go to the deepest part of the lake, give one last tap with his stick, then turn to us and shout: “Go get your skates!” I thought Dad was very brave.

Now I think more. He was as brave as he was when he entered baseball, a feat that took me years to appreciate. It dawned on me what it meant for him to break the baseball line, the courage he needed to venture into shaky and dangerous waters. He had to feel his way on an obscure path like a blind man, tapping for clues. He was Jackie Robinson. And he was my father – big, heavy, alone on the lake, patting his way so that the snow would be safe for us.

And he couldn’t swim.

That was 75 years ago when Robinson played his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking the color barrier in a major professional game for the first time. It was also a global phenomenon, helping to start the process of unifying a nation and influencing all who understand the pain of trying to cross the border. The line was like a wall, covered with barbed wire, yet Robinson climbed it.

Through his fearlessness, in moments of doubt, through love, through despair, he experienced snow for all of us – the path to social change is never linear. He did all this not only for his children but for the children of his dreams. He also left behind apostles and parents, guardians and coaches who know that with all his achievements, he was always trying to be a better father, because that love lasts forever.

My daughter will graze more than 30 bases in a Little League season – according to me as a hardcore third base coach. She made twenty to twenty jumps, often a passing ball or a second jump on a wild pitch. Realizing that only a few kids could consistently strike, he stopped swinging the bat altogether, deciding this was his best chance to come to base and show him what he could do. can. She ended the season as a two-pronged girl: taking a walk or finding a strike.

I told her that her strategy was right, but she wouldn’t be able to keep it up for long – the opposing pitchers would get better in the coming season. It didn’t make any difference though. Once you feel like Jackie Robinson, you will always be Jackie Robinson.

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