Thursday, January 31, 2019

Forty-Two On His Hundredth

It is hard to believe that Jackie Robinson would have been 100 today. The NY Times celebrated the occasion with an unusual special section. A Wall Street Journal op ed said “for a time, he played baseball perhaps more completely than anyone else had.” The Times George Vecsey said ”[h]e upgraded the game, and he upgraded my Brooklyn Dodgers, and he upgraded life in America in his 10 years in the major leagues.” As a pioneer, breaking the color barrier in our nation’s pastime, he had such an influence on my life, my career path, and my continuing love of baseball. He struggled at first, enduring harassment and ridicule. But he always seemed to rise above it, playing everyday baseball with a dignity, grace, artistry, style, and finesse that made him a stand out from the rest. He did what it took to get on base, and once he got on base, his zig-zagging leads would rattle the pitcher and usually net him the next base, working all the while to get ultimately to home, and a run. He made it seem effortless, but he was a hard worker with a kind of playful magic in facing his challenges that still has a positive impact in today’s everyday life.