By Rich Lowry
The Hendricks County Flyer
Tue Apr 23, 2013, 02:46 PM EDT
Before he triumphed over prejudice, Jackie Robinson triumphed over himself.
The signal achievements of the pioneering baseball star, whose story is recounted in the top-grossing biopic "42," were perseverance and self-control. In the face of hatred from fans and opposing players, he showed no anger. In response to isolation from his teammates, he betrayed no self-pity. He went out every day and swung the bat and ran the bases and fielded his position, and displayed the character that his detractors lacked. He was the gentleman, they were the haters, the rubes, the rotten teammates.
"42" is a paean to discipline and to an ethic that has eroded badly in American sporting life, and in our national life in general: "Please, don't express yourself or feel sorry for yourself, don't make excuses, don't worry about what someone else is doing or saying, just go out and do your job."
In Jackie Robinson's circumstances in 1947 - the year he broke into the big leagues and the focus of the film - adherence to this quotidian standard constituted notable courage.
The first meeting between Robinson and Branch Rickey, when the team honcho broached making him a Brooklyn Dodger, with all the pressure and abuse that would entail, is one of the most mythogenic episodes in baseball history. Rickey shouted insults at Robinson and demanded to know how he would respond to such provocation. Robinson asked if Rickey wanted a player who lacked the guts to fight back. Rickey responded, "I want a ballplayer with guts enough not to fight back."
The two men were Methodists and discussed the example of Christ, although Robinson hadn't excelled at turning the other cheek at the humiliations of Jim Crow-era America. As Jonathan Eig writes in his book Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season, Robinson grew up without a father, and his mother worked as a maid in Pasadena, Calif. When as a boy a white girl taunted him with a racial epithet, he called her a "cracker" right back. The girl's father and Robinson ended up throwing stones at one another.
March 3, 2014
February 27, 2014
February 26, 2014
There was a wide array of reactions to Seattle DB Richard Sherman’s post-game “interview” with Erin Andrews following the Seahawks’ NFC title win over San Francisco.
Mine? Laughter, as the shout-down was the most entertaining thing I saw all day.
January 28, 2014
Butler is still a long way from saving its 2013-14 men’s basketball season, but if the Bulldogs turn it around fully and reach the NCAA Tournament, it will have started this past Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
January 21, 2014
A fine season for the Indianapolis Colts ended with a whimper Saturday at New England, but in recent team history, it was far from the most disappointing postseason defeat.
January 14, 2014
The Indianapolis Colts’ miraculous 45-44 wild card victory over Kansas City on Saturday ended just after 8 p.m. After leaving Lucas Oil Stadium, it took until around midnight for the pounding in my head to subside.
January 7, 2014
December 31, 2013
An NPR broadcast examines the question of how communities can better prepare for tornadoes like the one that struck Moore, Okla. on Monday. The broadcast features commentary from Michael Fitzgerald, who reported a five-part disaster series for the CNHI News Service.
May 22, 2013
Part I: Are We Prepared? | Part II: Disaster Dollars Part III: Lessons Learned | Part IV: Warning Signs Part V: The Big One
Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!
April 18, 2014
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