Hats off to Jackie Robinson who, on April 15, 1947, broke the baseball color line when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him at first base.
Robinson said, "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives." Each time I see my sons on the athletic field I am grateful for his courage, and for the impact he is having on their lives 67 years after he walked out onto Ebbets Field. And I hope his example will shape their lives well beyond the athletic field.
Leo Durocher, the Brooklyn manager in 1947, said of Robinson that he was "a Durocher with talent." He greatly admired Robinson, and made it clear to the other players on the Dodgers that he would trade them before tolerating any opposition to Robinson's joining the team.
Robinson also said, "I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me...all I ask is that you respect me as a human being." Durocher told us more about what Robinson meant by respect when he said of him, "Ya want a guy that comes to play. This guy didn't just come to play. He come to beat ya. He come to stuff the goddamn bat right up your ass."
I hope my sons will learn from that example as well.
Hats off to you, Mr. Robinson.
1955 Topps Baseball Card