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  1. #1
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    April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    Just when you folks thought it was either the tax deadline (which is actually Tuesday), or the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the "unsinkable ship".

    Let us celebrate the man who did quite a lot for baseball by being its integrator, thus allowing others of color and Asian descent to have flourishing careers in a non-segretated MLB.

    http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/mlb/events/jrd/

    http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/apr15.html

    Box score: http://www.baseball-almanac.com/boxscore/04151947.shtml

    http://www.todayinbaseball.com/cms/041512-Robinson

    Column: Robinson deserves more than one day
    Sunday is Jackie Robinson Day in major league ballparks, where the ballplayer and his legacy will be remembered with tributes and testimonials. All big-league players will wear Robinson's number 42 on their backs, the only number in sports retired in perpetuity.

    It is important to remember that Robinson broke major league baseball's color line on April 15, 1947. But if we restrict Robinson's influence to baseball, we do both him and what he accomplished a tremendous disservice. He was arguably the most important civil rights figure, and the integration of baseball the most important civil rights story, in the years immediately after World War II.

    When he played his first game for the Dodgers on April 15, 1947, he carried the hopes and dreams of millions of blacks. If Robinson succeeded in baseball, as civil rights leader Roy Wilkins had earlier said, it meant blacks "should have their own rights, should have jobs, decent homes and education, free from insult, and equality of opportunity to achieve."

    Success vs. failure

    Never before — and never since — had so much been riding on one athlete. If Robinson succeeded, he succeeded for all blacks. If he failed, he would affirm the belief of many whites at the time that blacks were inferior.

    Nobody in sports ever had more at stake and no one ever suffered more. Nobody in baseball ever received such vile abuse from fans and opponents. Opposing pitchers threw at him. Opposing base runners spiked him. He received death threats routinely.
    Photo Gallery from Life Magazine (17 pix):

    http://life.time.com/culture/jackie-...rare-photos/#1

    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

  2. #2
    Sunny days ahead YankeePride1967's Avatar
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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    My 11 year old nephew just did a school project on Jackie and also took it upon himself to raise money (over $200, not bad for an 11 year old) for the Jackie Robinson Foundation. He is playing in a travel league championship game today and his father and I decided upon hearing Jackie's widow and daughter will be there decided to surprise him and my Godson by taking them tonight to the game.
    Life is good!

  3. #3
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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    Rizzo, thanks so much for chiming in. I'm glad that your nephew is doing such good at only 11 years of age. That kind of good deed will be greatly encouraged for the younger crowd.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

  4. #4

    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    "Baseball is about hope, not confidence." -- rajah

  5. #5
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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    I don't think that Jackie Robinson's influence on our nation's history can be overstated. Some out there will think, "it's just baseball" but nothing could be further from the truth.

    While Jackie Robinson has been the subject of any number of biographies, two stand out. For anyone who's interested in more of his story, I can recommend:
    Jackie Robinson: A Biography by Arnold Rampersad
    and
    Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season by Jonathan Eig, who also wrote the terrific Lou Gehrig biography, Luckiest Man.

    Also, I'd like to take a moment to recognize the woman who stood by Jackie Robinson's side every step of the way, his widow Rachel. She endured the same persecution that her husband did although out of the spotlight. I have always had the utmost admiration for her. She sat down with MLB for a new interview the transcript of which can be read here:
    http://atlanta.braves.mlb.com/news/a...=.jsp&c_id=mlb
    Last edited by Eldee5; 04-15-12 at 08:07 PM. Reason: Because Lou Gehrig's name doesn't end in a "C"

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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    Thanks, Eldee. You're really a good person to have in these threads that I've started of late. Your contributions are always very timely and of quality.

    Very correct that Rachel Robinson is someone to be admired. Just as Jackie Onassis was the person people looked to after JFK died, the baseball world has always looked to Rachel Robinson for inspiration, and she's never disappointed in leading a very dignified life.

    As I was told by an original Brooklyn Dodger fan, Babe Ruth changed baseball, but Jackie Robinson changed America!!!

    I'dalso like to add that all players, managers and coaches today wore #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson.

    From mlb.com: Baseball pays tribute to pioneer Robinson (please see middle left of the link for more Jackie Robinson articles)


    NEW YORK -- The 65th anniversary of the day Jackie Robinson forever shattered Major League Baseball's color barrier was celebrated throughout baseball on Sunday, culminating at Yankee Stadium where the Yankees play the Angels in the Sunday night game.

    And for the fourth consecutive year, every team takes the field -- all of the players, managers and coaches -- wearing Robinson's legendary No. 42. The sight is still both jarring and exhilarating.

    Baseball had a full slate of Major League games, and the act repeated at the 15 ballparks is proof enough of the commitment to keep Robinson's memory alive.

    Jackie did it his way ... with courage
    In the end, they could not strip Jackie Robinson of his dignity, and 65 years later, that's perhaps the most incredible part of his story. Lord knows they tried. Through the years, we've come to associate him with words like grace and courage, but the truth is, they don't begin to describe the hell that was Robinson's life.

    We use those words because they're the best we can do. In truth, it's impossible to know or understand what he endured. He was spit on and cursed, routinely. Pitchers threw at his head, routinely. He was drilled in the legs and ribs for sport. Fans threatened him, often loudly. He was constantly confronted with people who despised him because of the color of his skin and nothing else.

    Can you imagine standing there on the field smothered by the sounds of hate? How many times did he fear for his life? He had agreed not to respond to the insults or retaliate to the physical punishment. He had an aggressive, abrasive style on the field, a style that probably agitated people who already were prone to dislike him.
    From espn.com: MLB celebrates Jackie Robinson Day
    NEW YORK -- LaTroy Hawkins has heard the stories from his 87-year-old grandfather, about his days of picking cotton in Mississippi, about the times when there were no black players in big league baseball.

    And about what it meant when Jackie Robinson broke the game's color barrier.

    "Without Jackie, I wouldn't be in front of you," the Los Angeles Angels pitcher told several dozen kids at a Bronx ballfield Sunday. "Jackie's role in my life has been tremendous."
    Last edited by Jersey Yankee; 04-15-12 at 11:07 PM. Reason: I mssed up the paragraph spacing
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    90 y.o. Rachel Robinson is in the booth with John and Suzyn. Wow!!!

















    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

  8. #8
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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    I always appreciate these threads that you start so thanks for the pat on the back, Brad. BTW, my name's Lisa.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Yankee View Post
    90 y.o. Rachel Robinson is in the booth with John and Suzyn. Wow!!!
    ESPN showed her appearance at the pre-game ceremonies with Jeter and Mo. She is still a beautiful woman. She looks great!

  9. #9
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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    Lisa, you're a consistently good forumer. Your posts are very timely, and I like what you say, so the pat on the back is well-deserved. Makes me want to post more pix and links, as I did just prior to your post.

    There's another baseball forum (and the below-linked thread specifically) which has many original Brooklyn Dodgers fans that I like to see, since many were fans of the Dodgers when they were in Brooklyn (where they belonged). Lots of memories told of Jackie Robinson.

    Link.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

  10. #10
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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    Thank you jersey yankee for some neat links and awesome pics! I love this game every year and absolutely love seeing 42 on the back of everyone's jersey.
    I'd like to thank the good Lord for making me a Yankee fan

    Operation 28

  11. #11
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    In terms of professional sports, I actually think that Joe Louis was a much more influential figure in his time than Jackie Robinson.

    But Robinson's life is so much more interesting than the one accomplishment it's been reduced to. In addition to being a major baseball, football, basketball and track star in HS and college, he also won the junior boys singles title in the 1936 Pacific Coast Negro Tennis Tournament.

    During WWII he was part of a segregated unit, and though blacks were allowed to apply to OCS, his application (and others) kept finding its way back to the bottom of the pile. He raised a fuss about it, though, and got Joe Louis's very public support. Jackie made it to OCS, but he was later court-martialed for refusing to move to the back of an Army bus (and for objecting to racism in his interrogation afterwards). He was acquitted of all charges.

    So 1947 wasn't nearly as different for Jackie Robinson as it was for MLB.
    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
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  12. #12
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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    Quote Originally Posted by b0mber View Post
    Thank you jersey yankee for some neat links and awesome pics! I love this game every year and absolutely love seeing 42 on the back of everyone's jersey.
    You're quite welcome. It took forever getting those thingies, and I had to sort through a bunch of stuff. I decided not to post stuff where Boston declined to sign Robinson before Brooklyn did.

    Jackie Robinson is indeed a very influential figure in baseball. I admire the man greatly, and only hope that his legacy will always be fresh in the minds of the various baseball fans here, regardless of which team they root for.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

  13. #13
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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    Take a bow Jackie Robinson.
    "Losing is not my enemy, fear of losing is my enemy." - Tennis champion Rafael Nadal

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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    In terms of professional sports, I actually think that Joe Louis was a much more influential figure in his time than Jackie Robinson.

    But Robinson's life is so much more interesting than the one accomplishment it's been reduced to. In addition to being a major baseball, football, basketball and track star in HS and college, he also won the junior boys singles title in the 1936 Pacific Coast Negro Tennis Tournament.

    During WWII he was part of a segregated unit, and though blacks were allowed to apply to OCS, his application (and others) kept finding its way back to the bottom of the pile. He raised a fuss about it, though, and got Joe Louis's very public support. Jackie made it to OCS, but he was later court-martialed for refusing to move to the back of an Army bus (and for objecting to racism in his interrogation afterwards). He was acquitted of all charges.

    So 1947 wasn't nearly as different for Jackie Robinson as it was for MLB.
    Joe Louis was before my time. I remember him when he was alive. The late Bill Gallo said that it was he, not Muhammad Ali, that was the best heavyweight boxer ever, while Sugar Ray Robinson was the greatest pound-for-pound boxer ever.

    Why do you consider Joe Louis to be more influential? Please describe and expand upon this, since I'm interested in hearing your views.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

  15. #15
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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    Quote Originally Posted by BroadwayBomber55 View Post
    Take a bow Jackie Robinson.
    Let us all take a bow for the great man who made a monumental leap ... one that surpassed the bounds of a single human being, and certainly helped other human beings to progress.

    Like I once said before in another forum, and I'll say again:

    One small step for man; one GIANT LEAP for mankind.

    Robinson affected American society


    Jackie Robinson couldn't have known what Branch Rickey's "great experiment" would do to the socio-political landscape in America.

    In fact, could anybody have known that putting Robinson, a black man, onto a baseball field with a team of white men would do for America what nothing else had done for race relations since the 1896 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Plessy vs. Ferguson legalized segregation?

    "That's almost an impossible question to answer," said Robert Ruck, a senior lecturer at the University of Pittsburgh and an authority on black baseball. "I think that if Robinson's arrival in the Majors had been a chaotic social disaster, it would have made it more difficult for this country to change."
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    Here is a link to the MLB page outlining the tributes that were held at various major league stadiums today. There is video at the site of Rachel and Sharon Robinson (Jackie and Rachel's daughter) on field with four members of the Tuskeegee Airmen, Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano. (I was mistaken in the game thread when I said she was with Jeter and Mariano. It was Robbie.)

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?...s_mlb&c_id=mlb

    I really enjoy this day throughout baseball. I only wish that Jackie Robinson could have lived longer that he would have been able to enjoy the tributes.

  17. #17
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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    This thread is just wonderful. There is so much to say about this man that it is difficult to know where to start. He was with the right organization at the right time. Branch Rickey, despite overwhelming odds, opposition and threats, made the decision to sign Robinson. He knew Robinson was the one who could withstand the unimaginable pressure, danger and stress.....and still play the game. And play he did! He married a woman who was his equal in strength, character and grace. Without her by his side, I'm sure the pressure would have been even more unbearable. Eventually, MLB would have become intergrated without Jackie Robinson, but with him, it happened a lot sooner and it happened with an immediate impact.

    It is sad that the number of blacks in MLB has been steadily declining for a number of years now. Despite the efforts of current/past players to get youths' interested in the game again, the results have so far, not been encouraging.

    Thanks to all who've posted links here. I'm going to enjoy each and every one of them.
    September 28, 2008 - the day the HOF got a wake-up Moose call.

  18. #18
    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    Quote Originally Posted by 35Knucklecurve View Post
    This thread is just wonderful. There is so much to say about this man that it is difficult to know where to start. He was with the right organization at the right time. Branch Rickey, despite overwhelming odds, opposition and threats, made the decision to sign Robinson. He knew Robinson was the one who could withstand the unimaginable pressure, danger and stress.....and still play the game. And play he did! He married a woman who was his equal in strength, character and grace. Without her by his side, I'm sure the pressure would have been even more unbearable. Eventually, MLB would have become intergrated without Jackie Robinson, but with him, it happened a lot sooner and it happened with an immediate impact.

    It is sad that the number of blacks in MLB has been steadily declining for a number of years now. Despite the efforts of current/past players to get youths' interested in the game again, the results have so far, not been encouraging.

    Thanks to all who've posted links here. I'm going to enjoy each and every one of them.
    To be fair, Branch Rickey might well not have been the first to decide to break the color line, just the first who was allowed to do so. After the 1942 season, Bill Veeck wanted to buy the Phillies - perennial NL doormats - and stock the roster with players from the Negro Leagues. According to Veeck, anyway. He said that he decided to inform Judge Kenesaw Mountain Racist of his plans, figuring that since blacks were fighting in WWII, even Landis couldn't ay now. By the time he got to Philadelphia, the team had been sold to someone else.

    The story is disputed but plausible. Veeck brought Larry Doby to the Indians less than three months after Robinson's debut, and added Satchel Paige the following year.
    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
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  19. #19
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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    I have such high respect for Jackie Robinson and what he accomplished, the risks he took etc. Robinson Cano is lucky to be named after such a great man. I wish I got to meet Jackie Robinson - he's right up there with Lou Gehrig as far as awe and respect.

  20. #20
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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has posted and expressed gratitude towards the great sacrifice and importance of Jackie Robinson.

    I used to hang online with some Brooklyn Dodger fans who saw Jackie play in person. They knew the users, they remembered the guys in the Brooklyn SymPhony band, comparised entirely of non-musical fans who snuck in instruments. And most of all, they loved every single thing about Brooklyn itself. They knew whenever all of the historic restaurants closed, they frequently discuss Nathan's and the rest of Coney Island, Junior's, the Brooklyn Navy Yard, even playing stickball w/broom handles when they were little kids.

    Despite their very strong dislike of the Yankees, I'm just glad that Yankee fans here can express their love of the great and immortal Jackie, who was obviously their overwhelming favorite. I'm also glad that Jackie is also an favorite here.

    I'm glad that Curtis Granderson got to speak about Jackie and MLB's RBI program re minority outreach, and that Robbie Cano spoke also about the man that he was named after.

    I'm overjoyed that the grand dame Rachel Robinson still stands tall, mighty and highly dignified at the age of 90. It's just an extremely wonderful feeling knowing that someone gave so much before us, in order to help others who followed. Whether it was sports, work, neighbors, Jackie & Rachel set a very positive tone by their very example for how things should be done as far as human relations.

    To Jackie, the highest respect, and I wish you were still here. R-I-P

    To Rachel, like Coretta Scott King, Betty Shabazz and Jackie Onassis, you held many in your hearts when you husbands were unfortunately no longer amongst us. And to those great women, I can only say that you have all carried yourselves as highly dignified women. I can only suggest that the women of NYYFans also take a bow (or curtsy) in their honor.
    Dr King (1929-68): Make the Dream a Reality.
    RIP, Nelson Mandela, Jackie #42 & Rosa Parks; Ali: Get up…get up; Isaac Hayes; Stevie Wonder: Isn't She Lovely?; Dr J: Fear the 'Fro; Smokin' Joe

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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Yankee View Post
    I'm glad that Curtis Granderson got to speak about Jackie and MLB's RBI program re minority outreach, and that Robbie Cano spoke also about the man that he was named after.
    Speaking of Curtis:
    http://mlb.mlb.com/cutfour/article.j...nt_id=28777350

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    Tends to be difficult JL25and3's Avatar
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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Yankee View Post
    Joe Louis was before my time. I remember him when he was alive. The late Bill Gallo said that it was he, not Muhammad Ali, that was the best heavyweight boxer ever, while Sugar Ray Robinson was the greatest pound-for-pound boxer ever.

    Why do you consider Joe Louis to be more influential? Please describe and expand upon this, since I'm interested in hearing your views.
    Boxing wasn't segregated when Louis came around, but after Jack Johnson blacks were effectively barred from fighting for the heavyweight championship (there had been a black middleweight champion). Because of the hatred Johnson had engendered, Louis's managers kept him to a code of public conduct as much as Rickey did with Robinson - no pictures with white women, never gloat over a fallen opponent, no fixed fights, live and fight clean - in order to make him more acceptable to white audiences.

    As it happened, boxing at the time needed a marketable hero, and Louis was the guy. He wsa wildly popular in the black community, obviously; Langsto Hughes wrote, ""Each time Joe Louis won a fight in those depression years, even before he became champion, thousands of colored Americans on relief or W.P.A., and poor, would throng out into the streets all across the land to march and cheer and yell and cry because of Joe's one-man triumphs. No one else in the United States has ever had such an effect on Negro emotions - or on mine. I marched and cheered and yelled and cried."

    But with the Schmeling fights, Louis accomplished something no black had done before, except perhaps Jesse Owens in a one-off - he became a hero to white America as well. When Schmeling beat Louis, it became a Nazi propaganda tool, so when Louis won the second fight, it wasn't just as the black champion, it was as the American champion beating the evil Nazi bastard (never mind that Schmeling wasn't like that at all). Here was a black man going into the ring and beating white men senseless - and although his race was never forgotten (Brown Bomber, Dark Destroyer, Mahagony Mauler, etc., etc., etc.), he was white America's champion, too. I don't think any American black before Louis had achieved anything like his stature, popularity and acceptance. And I believe that that paved the way for Jackie Robinson, as much as Robinson paved the way for others.

    Oh, and Louis also coined one of the great sports aphorisms of the 20th century, talking about Billy Conn: "He can run, but he can't hide." And if Conn had just kept running, he would have beaten Louis on points.

    Of course, in the second half of Louis's life it all turned to sh*t. But for 15 years or so he was the biggest thing ever, bigger than Jackie Robinson ever was, and it was his influence that helped make Robinson possible.
    A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.
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  23. #23

    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    Quote Originally Posted by JL25and3 View Post
    He raised a fuss about it, though, and got Joe Louis's very public support. Jackie made it to OCS, but he was later court-martialed for refusing to move to the back of an Army bus (and for objecting to racism in his interrogation afterwards). He was acquitted of all charges.
    There's a pretty good tv movie about that - http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0099311/combined

  24. #24
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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    And, while not specific to the above named incident, a new feature film on Jackie Robinson's life scheduled for release in 2013:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0453562/

  25. #25
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    Re: April 15, 1947: 65th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldee5 View Post
    And, while not specific to the above named incident, a new feature film on Jackie Robinson's life scheduled for release in 2013:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0453562/
    It's looking fairly promising at this point, but this one has been kicking around for years now with a couple different people directing, etc, so I wouldn't hold my breath until they actually start making it.
    -Kevin

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