Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Jackie Robinson Day
On this day 61 years ago, Jackie Robinson stepped on the field and forever changed to face of baseball and the face of a nation. It took a lot of courage on the part of Branch Rickey, the Dodgers and Jackie Robinson to defy the collective conscious of the country and bring to a crashing fall the color barrier that divided a sport and a country.
Click here for coverage of Jackie Robinson Day.
Jackie Robinson became a symbol of all that was right and wrong with America at that time in history. He gave black people like my uncle and grandfather a reason to cheer for a team and a renewed hope that things would change. It is no coincidence that most of the elders in my family are/were Dodger fans. It is also no coincidence they they all hate the Red Sox (last team with a black player) and the Yankees (who thought black players could not meet the high "Yankee standard").
I asked my grandmother a while back why she became a Mets fan. And her answer was, "Well there's no way in hell I can be a Yankees with their racism against black players. The Giants and the Dodgers moved. Then the Mets came and I used to go to the games at the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field and the Mets were so bad. But I liked them anyway. So I kept following them after that."
In some strange way I think my grandmother's hatred for the Yankees was genetically passed down to me. Made me into Mets Brotha. And while I don't HATE the Yankees, I do have issues with this whole idea of "Yankee standards" and the "Yankee way of doing things." The higher the horse, the harder the fall I guess. I can't wait for that fall, it's going to be a doozy lol.