There was no Jackie Robinson Day in 1972. On the 25th anniversary of him breaking the MLB color barrier on April 15, 1947, the league did not remove his jersey number. In fact, until June 1972, the Dodgers had never retired a single figure. They will do the same for him, Sandy Koufax and Roy Campanella. The league didn’t even acknowledge the most pivotal moment in the sport’s history until Game 2 of the 1972 World Series, in Cincinnati. Robinson received a muted response from the crowd at Riverfront Stadium.
These days no one has to deal with Robinson. When you’ve been dead for almost 50 years – he passed 9 days after that game – people can do for you what they want. Robinson is one of the few Black historical figures regularly taught to children of my age in the 1990s. While you are informed that he has endured great outrage as a black man. the first black to play in the professional league, that’s not the focus of the lesson. What is emphasized is that it is amazing that he has to endure those outrages without fighting back. Affiliate Rickey called him into his office and called him by every racist name in the book. Robinson then asked Rickey if he wanted a player who was afraid to hit back. Rickey replied I want a player with the power not to hit back. Robinson agreed not to retaliate against the racism he both knew he would face for three years.
Although it was someone the children were taught in picture books, if they had met him on April 15, 1972, he would have been different. He will not be an illustration or an icon, he will be a man. One man endured all the outrage at being the first Black in the field and displeasure 25 years after he broke the color barrier.
Robinson died at the age of 53 due to his premature decline in health. We didn’t get to see him become a professional writer like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar during his senior years or arguably the most respected man in his sporting history. Not only did he leave us early, but he also left unsatisfied and unpopular.
Ron Rapoport of the Los Angeles Times had an article published yesterday titled, Baseball reveals Jackie Robinson, but Robinson doesn’t reveal baseball. Here’s why.
Robinson has been invited to many MLB events, but he mostly chooses not to attend. It has been suggested that he was very bitter, and rightfully so. But he was not simply a tough old man. He’s not even that old. He has a legit grip. He’s displeased with the way MLB treats black players after they can no longer play, and the way white people in the game quickly follow the manager and other unsolicited roles. who ground and managed 1-2 points – at that time there was no Black manager yet.
He also talked about why some people don’t have a favorable opinion of his attitude towards MLB post-retirement.
“I think if you look back at why people think of me the way they do,” Robinson told Rapoport. “That’s because white Americans don’t like a black man standing up for what he believes in. I don’t feel like baseball owes me anything and I don’t owe baseball anything. I’m glad I didn’t have to get on my knees to attend baseball.”
Robinson was a fiercely proud black man. He kept it under control for as long as he could, but he didn’t want to fall because MLB gave him a chance to play. The League was wrong to keep Black players around all those years, and just because it was right or wrong doesn’t mean he’s satisfied with the league’s progress.
Sounds like another black historical figure with a high Q score decades after his death. Yes, there is a holiday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The American calendar was signed into law in 1983. But if Ronald Regan had met Dr. King in 1968 when he was governor of California, he probably wouldn’t have wanted to. Christmas card exchange.
Dr. King was also not satisfied. He was not content with simply prohibiting clear segregation and granting basic voting rights. He understood an important issue because black slavery was not only isolated from the fountains, but also from the American economy. As America was in its darkest days, the government tried to help during the Great Depression, but no hand was extended to the blacks. Dr. King talk a lot of time, posted through the Voting Rights Act, about how the US government took financial care of its white citizens but never provided any assistance to enslaved Blacks on American soil. One example: slaves freed in 1865 were given land that had been abandoned by fleeing Southerners. However, that land was later given back to the Confederacy during the Reconstruction era, leaving behind recently freed slaves who were forbidden for most of their lives to earn money and read books, and Those who commit treason are not treated as if nothing had happened.
He wanted America to provide assistance to Blacks so as not to be seen as welfare but instead as genuine economic equality. It didn’t go well and he was viewed by some, certainly the FBI, as a communism. His last act on Earth was to help black sanitation workers in Memphis strike for equal pay and safe working conditions.
What Dr King and Robinson clearly understand is that fixing racism involves more than simply changing some laws and removing some signs. Living is not cheap. Apart from the air you breathe, everything costs money. Without that, there’s no way for people to insure themselves against basic human deceptions. Dr. King and Robinson wanted Blacks to have the same access to money and decency as whites, and they wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less. In the mid-late 20th century, keeping the two apart from national holidays and jersey numbers were divine symbols for a sport.
If they lived a full life, they would probably never receive these recognitions. Consider how both Dr. King and Robinson were annoyed with Richard Nixon (who began as a proponent of civil rights prior to the adoption of the apartheid regime) Southern Strategy) during their lifetime, imagine if both appeared on Night in 1985. Their view of America as the suburbs are blossoming and the cracks ravaging the inner cities will likely differ from Hulk Hogan’s musical input.
So take a moment looking at all those 42s all over the MLB football fields to remember that the man was the reason why he passed away unsatisfied, and looked down upon by some in his life. is ungrateful. It’s been 50 years since he passed away. Imagine his opinion decades later if he lived as an 85-year-old man in 2004. Will there ever be a Jackie Robinson Day?