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Today we honor a real hero...

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  • Today we honor a real hero...

    Before Ellsbury...
    Before Kemp...
    Before Ichiro, Mo and Thomas...
    Before Gywnn...
    Before Ozzie...
    Before Murray and Carew...
    Before Frank...
    Before Ernie...
    Before Aaron and Mays...


    There was Jackie.




    Jackie Robinson Day

    On April 15th, baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
    John Kenneth Galbraith

  • #2
    Re: Today we honor a real hero...

    Although I think Jackie Robinson was a great ball player, I don't think one playing a game makes one a hero.

    In Sir John Glubb's The Fate of Empires, he explains how empire after empire in their decline elevate entertainers and athletes to celebrity status, in comparison to generals, writers, etc. I think Frederick Douglass is a far more hero in the classic sense. His oratory skills and writings address serious topics in a powerful way. George Washington Carver is another hero needed to be honored in our community. I believe such intellect as Douglass, as opposed to another athlete like Robinson, is needed to be honored in my community, the Black community. Again, not for their physical prowess but thier intellectual achievements.
    "No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles."
    -- Patrick Henry

    ?


    • #3
      Re: Today we honor a real hero...

      Originally posted by JohnLocke View Post
      Although I think Jackie Robinson was a great ball player, I don't think one playing a game makes one a hero.

      In Sir John Glubb's The Fate of Empires, he explains how empire after empire in their decline elevate entertainers and athletes to celebrity status, in comparison to generals, writers, etc. I think Frederick Douglass is a far more hero in the classic sense. His oratory skills and writings address serious topics in a powerful way. George Washington Carver is another hero needed to be honored in our community. I believe such intellect as Douglass, as opposed to another athlete like Robinson, is needed to be honored in my community, the Black community. Again, not for their physical prowess but thier intellectual achievements.
      You really don't know the Jackie Robinson story, do you? We don't honor Jackie for what he did on the field.

      Here is your word for the day: courage

      If you look up the word in a dictionary, Jackie's picture should be beside it...

      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.

      Please, let's not sanitize Robinson's story. He indeed was a man of grace and dignity, but the truth is, he was treated like an animal, actually worse than an animal. He was a member of the Dodgers only on the field.

      Some of his teammates treated him well, but he was never really one of them. While they stayed in fine hotels and ate great food, Jackie was forced to stay in hotels so hot and filthy that he'd sometimes soak the bed sheets in ice water to cool the room. He ate his meals in the backs of kitchens, often alone, at least until Branch Rickey added Roy Campanella in his second season and Don Newcombe in his third.

      To get back to a part of town that accepted him wasn't easy, and Robinson sometimes waited an hour on street corners for a cabbie who would stop for a black man. He was proud and stubborn, and he knew people were counting on him. The editor of a black New York weekly wrote that Robinson "would be haunted by the expectations of his race. ... White America will judge the Negro race by everything he does. And Lord help him with his fellow Negroes if he should fail them."

      Robinson loved baseball more than baseball loved him, and he wanted to show the world that a black man could succeed in a white man's league. Nothing has been the same for baseball -- or America -- since April 15, 1947. And on the 65th anniversary of Robinson's first game -- a game that drew just 25,600 at Ebbets Field, a moment that drew little mention in New York's newspapers -- Major League Baseball will again honor Robinson.

      He always seemed to understand that his real impact would extend far beyond the baseball diamond, and one of the many things that made him special is that he saw his sport as a means to an end.

      "Jackie basically started the civil rights movement," Newcombe said. "In those days, there was no civil rights movement. People like Martin Luther King were too young then."

      Maybe that's why King said Robinson had a dramatic impact on the civil rights movement, because he forced people to confront the possibility of change.

      "Back in the days when integration wasn't fashionable," King said, "he underwent the trauma and humiliation and the loneliness which comes with being a pilgrim walking the lonesome byways toward the high road of freedom."

      Robinson paid an ugly price. Did you hear the one about the opposing catcher spitting on Robinson's shoes in the batter's box?

      "I know you're a good ballplayer," Rickey told him. "What I don't know is whether you have the guts."

      Robinson asked: "Mr. Rickey, are you looking for a Negro who is afraid to fight back?"

      Rickey shot back: "I'm looking for a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back."
      The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
      John Kenneth Galbraith

      ?


      • #4
        Re: Today we honor a real hero...

        Originally posted by Bfgrn View Post
        You really don't know the Jackie Robinson story, do you? We don't honor Jackie for what he did on the field.

        Here is your word for the day: courage
        I know the story very well. It does not take a lot of courage for a gamer to play a game.

        As far as sports are concerned, I think Jack Johnson and Joe Louis had to have more courage than Robinson. But I am not measuring the upper limit of courage to be a gammer playing a game. As a society in general and the Black community in particular, we elevate games out of proportion to their importance in life as a whole.
        "No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles."
        -- Patrick Henry

        ?


        • #5
          Re: Today we honor a real hero...

          Originally posted by JohnLocke View Post
          I know the story very well. It does not take a lot of courage for a gamer to play a game.

          As far as sports are concerned, I think Jack Johnson and Joe Louis had to have more courage than Robinson. But I am not measuring the upper limit of courage to be a gammer playing a game. As a society in general and the Black community in particular, we elevate games out of proportion to their importance in life as a whole.
          A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.
          Oscar Wilde

          It takes courage beyond most men to take the abuse Jackie endured and to turn the other cheek. You may or may not know the story, but you clearly don't know what courage is.

          Educate yourself...

          How To Be Like Jackie Robinson: Life Lessons From Baseball's Greatest Hero - Pat Williams, Mike Sielski - Google Books
          The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
          John Kenneth Galbraith

          ?


          • #6
            Re: Today we honor a real hero...

            Pretending I am ignorant is not persuasive. We simply disagree that a gamer playing a game makes one a real hero. Rosa Parks is a real hero.

            Jesse Jackson said something I agree with. The Black community has enough representation in baseball, football and basketball. We need to branch out to succeed in all other walks of life, like doctors, lawyers, business owners.

            If you want to pretend a gamer playing his game of choice represents the height of human courage, that's fine. I'm done.
            "No free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue; and by a frequent recurrence to fundamental principles."
            -- Patrick Henry

            ?


            • #7
              Re: Today we honor a real hero...

              Originally posted by JohnLocke View Post
              Pretending I am ignorant is not persuasive. We simply disagree that a gamer playing a game makes one a real hero. Rosa Parks is a real hero.

              Jesse Jackson said something I agree with. The Black community has enough representation in baseball, football and basketball. We need to branch out to succeed in all other walks of life, like doctors, lawyers, business owners.

              If you want to pretend a gamer playing his game of choice represents the height of human courage, that's fine. I'm done.

              Here are some words of wisdom for you and Rev. Jackson to contemplate.

              A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
              Lao-tzu

              To dismiss Jackie Robinson as merely a 'gamer' is beyond ignorant. If you know the story, as you claim to do, please begin to tell it, because you don't seem to be aware of the abuse, discrimination, indignity and threats on his very LIFE that man endured.

              A Lesson on Leadership from Jackie Robinson

              A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.
              -Jack Roosevelt Jackie Robinson

              Yesterday, April the 15th, was the 60th anniversary of an exceptional act of leadership that has left an indelible mark on history. Jackie Robinson became the first African-American major league baseball player.

              Drifting into reverie while watching the ball games on Sunday, I wondered what it would be like to be a trendsetter of that magnitude.

              How would it feel to be a leader that has affected the lives millions and millions to come? What do you say to yourself when you know youve taken a swing at history, caught a ball for the future, and rounded the bases for the ages?

              You simply say that there is still more to be done and most importantly, you do it.

              Thank God that Jackie Robinson didnt think like many who say: I did what I was supposed to do. Its somebody elses turn.

              Leadership is not about one time; its about as many times as possible.

              A prominent business man and political activist, Jackie Robinson was a key leader in the establishment of the African-American owned and controlled Freedom Bank. In his syndicated newspaper column, he was an outspoken advocate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement. To a lesser degree, he also supported Al-Hajj Malik al-Shabazz better known as Malcolm X.

              Leadership is not about what you do in the spotlight; its about what you do on the spot.


              Jackie Robinson showed courage and conviction long before he was in the spotlight. On July 6th 1944, more than a decade before Rosa Parks, he refused to conform to Jim Crow laws in the United States Army. Although his actions earned him a court marshal, he was later found not guilty of insubordination and was honorably discharged.



              Jackie Robinson Eulogy by Reverend Jesse Jackson


              "Today we must balance the tears of sorrow with the tears of joy. Mix the bitter with the sweet in death and life.

              Jackie as a figure in history was a rock in the water, creating concentric circles and ripples of new possibility. He was medicine. He was immunized by God from catching the diseases that he fought. The Lord's arms of protection enabled him to go through dangers seen and unseen, and he had the capacity to wear glory with grace.

              Jackie's body was a temple of God. An instrument of peace. We would watch him disappear into nothingness and stand back as spectators, and watch the suffering from afar.

              The mercy of God intercepted this process Tuesday and permitted him to steal away home, where referees are out of place, and only the supreme judge of the universe speaks."

              Baseball Almanac - Jackie Robinson Eulogy
              The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
              John Kenneth Galbraith

              ?


              • #8
                Re: Today we honor a real hero...

                Originally posted by JohnLocke View Post
                Pretending I am ignorant is not persuasive. We simply disagree that a gamer playing a game makes one a real hero. Rosa Parks is a real hero.

                Jesse Jackson said something I agree with. The Black community has enough representation in baseball, football and basketball. We need to branch out to succeed in all other walks of life, like doctors, lawyers, business owners.

                If you want to pretend a gamer playing his game of choice represents the height of human courage, that's fine. I'm done.
                While I don't agree with everything that Robinson got involved with he most definitely was a class act on and off the field and did as much for elevating the discussion about racial equality as any other has before or since. Also, as Bfgrn notes, he was the epitome of courage thus bringing great credit to black athletes in particular and baseball as a whole. Others followed but he was the first and he showed a level of leadership which few others could have.

                If our current President had half....one tenth...the courage, tenacity and selflessness of Jackie Robinson we'd be in a much different place today.

                ?


                • #9
                  Re: Today we honor a real hero...

                  With due respect to Jack Johnson and Joe Louis, in 1947 baseball was the number one sport in America...by FAR. It wasn't called the 'National Pastime' without good reason. If you combined all other sports together, they wouldn't equal half the popularity of baseball.

                  Jackie played before stadiums filled with white patrons in every major city in America almost every day from April 15th to September 28th.

                  Boston
                  New York
                  Philadelphia
                  Chicago
                  St. Louis
                  Cincinnati
                  Pittsburgh
                  The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.
                  John Kenneth Galbraith

                  ?


                  • #10
                    Re: Today we honor a real hero...

                    Originally posted by JohnLocke View Post
                    I know the story very well. It does not take a lot of courage for a gamer to play a game.

                    As far as sports are concerned, I think Jack Johnson and Joe Louis had to have more courage than Robinson. But I am not measuring the upper limit of courage to be a gammer playing a game. As a society in general and the Black community in particular, we elevate games out of proportion to their importance in life as a whole.
                    And that right there folks, is what we call "internally inconsistent".

                    What a terrible argument you're making dude.
                    I ♣ Ideologues!

                    ?


                    • #11
                      Re: Today we honor a real hero...

                      He's been politicized and overblown but then most thing have these days.

                      I'm a big sports fan and all that I have read indicates that he was a fine man. I suppose you can't ask for too much more.

                      ?


                      • #12
                        Re: Today we honor a real hero...

                        Originally posted by Wagner View Post
                        He's been politicized and overblown but then most thing have these days.

                        I'm a big sports fan and all that I have read indicates that he was a fine man. I suppose you can't ask for too much more.
                        Sports is not the issue that makes Jackie a hero and that's a just reason for politicizing / overblowing. It is actions in being the first black American ... to endure less then humane treatment in MLB which was a white dominated sport. We honor those who handle repression with dignity as the heroes they are. This isn't to say negro major league players didn't endure similar conditions and inhumane treatment or other black Americans didn't. Jackie just had a bulls eye on his head as the 1st in MLB. If Jackie isn't a hero maybe the discussion should be what a hero is.

                        I see no reason not to honor "overblow / politicize" those who have contributed to acceptance and elimination of inhumane treatment of humans. For me Jackies right up there with MLK in attempting to deal with repression while maintaining your dignity. This in fact makes millions of everyday Americans "heros" and we can look to members of our communities and families for these hero's.

                        Merriam Webster
                        a : exhibiting or marked by courage and daring
                        b : supremely noble or self-sacrificing

                        I should add: For most all those who endured inhumane treatment ... they will never be honored ... I think highlighting the inhumane treatment and history is a tribute to them, that it won't happen again out of ignorance.
                        If we open up our borders we could suppress wages of middle class jobs Alan Greenspan
                        We need to suppress the wage levels of the skilled. We need to suppress wages in comparison to the lesser skilled - Alan Greenspan

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                        • #13
                          Re: Today we honor a real hero...

                          Originally posted by michael h View Post
                          Sports is not the issue that makes Jackie a hero and that's a just reason for politicizing / overblowing. It is actions in being the first black American ... to endure less then humane treatment in MLB which was a white dominated sport. We honor those who handle repression with dignity as the heroes they are. This isn't to say negro major league players didn't endure similar conditions and inhumane treatment or other black Americans didn't. Jackie just had a bulls eye on his head as the 1st in MLB. If Jackie isn't a hero maybe the discussion should be what a hero is.

                          I see no reason not to honor "overblow / politicize" those who have contributed to acceptance and elimination of inhumane treatment of humans. For me Jackies right up there with MLK in attempting to deal with repression while maintaining your dignity. This in fact makes millions of everyday Americans "heros" and we can look to members of our communities and families for these hero's.

                          Merriam Webster
                          a : exhibiting or marked by courage and daring
                          b : supremely noble or self-sacrificing

                          I should add: For most all those who endured inhumane treatment ... they will never be honored ... I think highlighting the inhumane treatment and history is a tribute to them, that it won't happen again out of ignorance.
                          You misunderstand my point.

                          I don't care that he "only" played baseball. It's just that most of what you highlight is selective nonsense.

                          It is important to the political narrative that we talk about a "bulls eye" being on his head. What isn't important was that he was an extremely popular player; a perennial all star and MVP candidate, both very much popularity contests; a ROY and MVP recipient; and a Hall of Fame inductee. Jackie Robinson was no where near the first "non-white" player in MLB history and he was only the first (official) black by weeks. At the end of his rookie season 1/5th of the league was integrated. 1/3rd of it was integrated by his junior season. Ernie Banks, possibly the most beloved athlete in a city that also features Michael Jordan, made his major league debut very shortly after Robinson.

                          I don't doubt that he endured his share of white knuckleheads yelling racial slurs while he was at the plate but the reality is very different from the narrative that gets told every year on Jackie Robinson Day. He sounds like a fine man who should be looked to as a role model but he should be looked to as a role model for what he actually experienced and not the Hollywood revision that is intended to emphasize racial prejudice and political partisanship.

                          What gets lost every year is over his career more people came to cheer him on than boo him. That is the part that should be important but it is not.
                          Last edited by Wagner; 04-18-2012, 02:06 PM. Reason: Fingers

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                          • #14
                            Re: Today we honor a real hero...

                            Originally posted by Wagner View Post
                            You misunderstand my point.

                            I don't care that he "only" played baseball. It's just that most of what you highlight is selective nonsense.

                            It is important to the political narrative that we talk about a "bulls eye" being on his head. What isn't important was that he was an extremely popular player; a perennial all star and MVP candidate, both very much popularity contests; a ROY and MVP recipient; and a Hall of Fame inductee. Jackie Robinson was no where near the first "non-white" player in MLB history and he was only the first (official) black by weeks. At the end of his rookie season 1/5th of the league was integrated. 1/3rd of it was integrated by his junior season. Ernie Banks, possibly the most beloved athlete in a city that also features Michael Jordan, made his major league debut very shortly after Robinson.

                            I don't doubt that he endured his share of white knuckleheads yelling racial slurs while he was at the plate but the reality is very different from the narrative that gets told every year on Jackie Robinson Day. He sounds like a fine man who should be looked to as a role model but he should be looked to as a role model for what he actually experienced and not the Hollywood revision that is intended to emphasize racial prejudice and political partisanship.

                            What gets lost every year is over his career more people came to cheer him on than boo him. That is the part that should be important but it is not.
                            Many whites marched with MLK ... yet that white support doesn't change his accomplishments or his greatness, nor the repression he and black Americans endured. Ernie was a great player and as I stated many hero's are not noted when we honor a few because of the simple distinction of being 1st. Its great that some whites were there to cheer Jackie ... it doesn't change the inhumane treatment of him and other minorities by racist asses.

                            I would emphasize those in the community also as hero's and for black Americans I'm fairly certain there wasn't a black family that didn't endure disrespect and inhumane treatment in everyday life. Today for example as we see black Americans enter a white dominated sport like hockey ... we have incidents of the old school attitudes. When I was young my stepfather couldn't hold the priesthood in our church ... I could as I was white. My parents as a mixed race couple ... you can rest assured I've seen racism and inhumane treatment in both whites and blacks ... yet still one tries to survive with dignity that others would take away.

                            So we could emphasize the support of many whites ... but that doesn't really change the assault on human dignity that had to be endured in everyday life. I understand this a little bit as at times I forgot my name was Michael ... and thought it might be Honky. lol
                            If we open up our borders we could suppress wages of middle class jobs Alan Greenspan
                            We need to suppress the wage levels of the skilled. We need to suppress wages in comparison to the lesser skilled - Alan Greenspan

                            ?


                            • #15
                              Re: Today we honor a real hero...

                              Originally posted by michael h View Post
                              Many whites marched with MLK ... yet that white support doesn't change his accomplishments or his greatness, nor the repression he and black Americans endured. Ernie was a great player and as I stated many hero's are not noted when we honor a few because of the simple distinction of being 1st. Its great that some whites were there to cheer Jackie ... it doesn't change the inhumane treatment of him and other minorities by racist asses.

                              I would emphasize those in the community also as hero's and for black Americans I'm fairly certain there wasn't a black family that didn't endure disrespect and inhumane treatment in everyday life. Today for example as we see black Americans enter a white dominated sport like hockey ... we have incidents of the old school attitudes. When I was young my stepfather couldn't hold the priesthood in our church ... I could as I was white. My parents as a mixed race couple ... you can rest assured I've seen racism and inhumane treatment in both whites and blacks ... yet still one tries to survive with dignity that others would take away.

                              So we could emphasize the support of many whites ... but that doesn't really change the assault on human dignity that had to be endured in everyday life. I understand this a little bit as at times I forgot my name was Michael ... and thought it might be Honky. lol
                              All that is well and good but not really relevant.

                              I'm not suggesting that young men (and women!) shouldn't look to Jackie Robinson as a hero. I'm suggesting they should do so because of what actually took place. The life of Jackie Robinson is a lot like those old fishing stories where the fish gets bigger every time it's told. A proud Jackie Robinson persevering in a world where everyone hates him is an extremely compelling story but it's a largely fictitious one. He did do something great but that is now overshadowed by the story we tell. That takes away from him, IMO.

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