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Baseball History: The Movie "42" and the Annual Jackie Robinson Day
Life is not a spectator sport. If you're going to spend your whole life in the grandstand, just watching what goes on, in my opinion you're wasting your life.
-- Jackie Robinson
The Robinson Legacy
Jackie Robinson was born the youngest of five siblings in 1919 and his father left shortly thereafter. His mom raised five kids alone and those children accomplished many goals for themselves.
Jackie's older brother Matthew was on the US Olympic Track and Field Team at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. He won the Silver Medal behind Jesse Owens' Gold, which is now on display at The Ohio State University. Not enough is taught about our great athletes of the past.
Jackie not only played four different sports well in high school and college, he lettered in all four - basketball, football, baseball, and track. He went to college and met his future wife there, where she was a nursing student. At this writing, she is 90 years old and proud of the film 42 and Jackie's life story, which was first filmed in 1950 with himself in the lead role.
Not only did this man raised in a poor single-parent family graduate from high school, attend college, and letter in four sports, and fight segregation in the US Army, but he also changed baseball in so many strong ways that his is the only jersey number in the game to be retired. He acomplished all these things while standing up to segregation and bullying alone and with the help of his family and baseball Hall of Famers such as Pee Wee Reese and Branch Rickey, among others.
Now, on Jackie Robinson Day, commemorating his first appearance at Ebbetts Field, south of Park Slope, with the Brooklyn Dodgers, everyone in a uniform on a Major League Baseball Field that day wears the number 42.
Below is video footage of Robinson during one of his famous steals of home base, this one helping to win the 1955 World Series for the Dodgers.
Jackie Robinson Steals Home In the 1955 World Series
America's Pastime Is Back
The biopic 42 is one of the best films of 2013. It is entertaining and historically accurate, except for some added dramatized dialogue, uplifting, and strong. Watching this film spurred me to plan to attend some baseball games this year. It brought back my love of the game as much as Branch Rickey told Jackie Robinson he did for him (Rickey).
The film is rated PG-13 for themes and language, but younger kids can watch 42 with some parental input. The night I saw the film, a full Little League team attended in uniform with their coaches and a couple of parents in tow. The kids asked questions as they enjoyed the fun parts of the film. coming away with a greater understanding of Jackie Robinson's accomplishments for baseball, family, and equality.
The diverse audience that night was vocal in its appreciation of the film and baseball history. Afteer the closing credits, people did not want to leave the theater. They stood in the lobby, talking among themselves in groups and discussing the film with studio reps.
A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.
-- Jackie Robinson
The Stars Of the Film
Star Chadwick Boseman looks so much like the young Jack Robinson, especially from a certain angle, that it's eerie. My favorite scenes are those where he's preparing to steal bases, skittering back and forth just beyond his base and annoying the pitcher. I never saw Branch Rickey, but I felt that I got to know him through Harrison Ford's character portrayal. Ford looked like he had a good time with the part.
Many of the audience on the night I was fortunate to see this film were enchanted by the parts taken by Harrison Ford, Andre Holland, Nicole Beharie, Max Gail, T.R. Knight, Chris Meloni. -- And consider screwball Texan Alan Tudyk - he's lucky someone doesn't smack him on the street, mistaking him for the real Phillies' bigotted manager Ben Chapman!
The first I saw of Tudyk was in 2007's Death At a Funeral. He was the nude dancing on the roof during a wake, high on designer drugs he accidentally ingested. He was the funniest thing I'd seen in decades. In 42, he's the most bigotted. In TV's Suburgatory, he is one of the most silly. He certainly has an acting range.
Jackie Robinson Day 4/15 has new meaning after seeing this film.
Jackie, we've got no army. There's virtually nobody on our side. No owners, no umpires, very few newspapermen. And I'm afraid that many fans will be hostile. We'll be in a tough position. We can win only if we can convince the world that I'm doing this because you're a great ballplayer, a fine gentleman.
-- Branch Rickey
Congressional Gold Medal
Jackie Robinson Links
- Baseball and Jackie Robinson (American Memory from the Library of Congress)
The Baseball and Jackie Robinson Collection contains manuscripts, books, and photographs that describe the color line that segregated baseball for many years, the Negro Leagues, and Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson--two men who played key roles in i
- Baseball Legend Jackie Robinson - Jackie and Rae | Video - ABC News
Mrs. Rachel Robinson talks the legacy of number 42 and the strength he found to keep playing baseball.
- Jackie Robinson Baseball Stats by Baseball Almanac
- Ohio Wesleyan University | The Branch Rickey – Jackie Robinson Legacy | Welcome
- The Jackie Robinson Foundation
Jackie Robinson Day Celebrated BIG at Wrigley Field
A fitting tribute to a ball player who deserves to be remembered:
- 42: The True Story of An American Legend was released to the public in American theaters on April 12, 2013 to large crowds of baseball and history fans. However, the Chicago Cubs wanted to do something spectacular to honor Jackie Robinson and his history. At the 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson first day in the majors, the Cubs all wore number 42 as did many other teams in MLB. Even better, the film cast of 42 was present for the first pitch of the game and the Seventh Inning Stretch. It was a great time and an appropriate, fun tribute to a great ballplayer that broke the color line with help from those inside the major leagues that had faith in him.
A Mini Bio Of Jackie Robinson
He was the only player I ever saw in a rundown who could be safe more often than out. He ran as if his head was on a swizzle, back and forth, back and forth, until he could get out of it.
-- Bobby Bragan
On the Ed Sullivan Show
Song "Mr. Robinson"
- Video Credit, Original Song: Chuck T - YouTube
Mr. Robinson is an original song written by Jim Gekas and Tony Calderisi.