Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Breaking News

Commentary

April 23, 2013

Jackie Robinson's achievement

(Continued)

As a young man stationed at Camp Hood in Texas during World War II, he got court-martialed. One day, Lt. Robinson refused to move to the back of the bus when the driver told him to, and exploded in rage when the driver called him "n-----." He was arrested, but eventually cleared of all charges.

Rickey hadn't sought out a shrinking violet.

"He wanted someone big enough and strong enough to intimidate," Eig writes, "and someone intelligent enough to understand the historic nature of his role."

We never would have heard of Robinson, of course, if he hadn't been a supremely gifted athlete (Rickey wanted to win the pennant, as well as do right). But baseball history is full of those; it is Robinson's dignity when confronted with so many indignities that sets him apart.

Baseball then had a distinctively Southern flavor that could make even players who were white ethnics feel uncomfortable. A contingent of Robinson's own teammates wanted to boycott him, and so did rival players. He couldn't stay in some of the team's hotels. He got death threats. In a game early in the season, Philadelphia Phillies manager Ben Chapman and his players viciously abused him. Robinson envisioned throwing his bat down and attacking his tormentors. During all of this, he slumped and thought about quitting, but kept on going, and eventually his talent spoke louder than words.

A legendary image - memorialized in a bronze statue outside the ballpark of the minor-league Brooklyn Cyclones - is of Kentucky-born Dodgers shortstop Pee Wee Reese draping his arm around Robinson on the field, in a gesture of support and in a rebuke to hostile fans.

It may or may not have happened that way. But it's hard to make a statue to the essence of Robinson's accomplishment, to the lonely resolve one at-bat and one inning at a time.

(c) 2013 by King Features Syndicate

Text Only
Commentary
  • Adopting Indiana? Or a 'deadbeat parent'? This past week we’ve learned that the State of Indiana has essentially stiffed 1,400 families who have adopted special needs children. The subsidies they were promised to raise kids in the state’s foster child program have been denied, prompting one

    July 12, 2014

  • Chicago's shooting spree |For most of the country, July Fourth weekend means hot dogs, fireworks and relaxing time with family. In certain neighborhoods in Chicago, it means something very different. For the second year running, Chicago saw a spate of violence over the long

    July 10, 2014

  • Financial hardships mount for military families |Days before the July 4th holiday, Holly Petraeus stood on the steps of the imposing Indiana War Memorial, in front of a bank of cameras, and made a plea to military families: Don’t let pride stand in the way of asking for help. It was a striking mes

    July 7, 2014

  • Science is science, but math is math |For people who use the word "science" as a bludgeon and trumpet their strict commitment to fact and reason, the Obama administration and its supporters are strangely incapable of rational analysis of new climate-change regulations. President Barack

    June 19, 2014

  • A throne by any other name … |“It’s time to get serious about what happens in the bathroom.” Have you heard this commercial? It always irritates me. Nobody gets that serious about their toilet paper, do they? I didn’t think so, but we’ve lived in our current house for nearly 20

    June 19, 2014

  • The 'swift-boating' of Bowe Bergdahl |As the Bowe Bergdahl prisoner swap has curdled from presumed triumph to public-relations nightmare, the White House and its defenders have cast about for excuses why the administration's negotiating brilliance has gone unappreciated. White House sta

    June 11, 2014

  • Letters to the editor |To the Editor: In 1977 as we planned to move here, I listened to and studied Jay Foonberg, a California criminal and tax lawyer, on how to build your own law practice. He said there are 10 things you must know that you do not about the American pub

    June 11, 2014

  • Don't celebrate Bergdahl's release President Barack Obama marked the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl with a Rose Garden event with the captive soldier's parents and triumphant assurances that "the United States of America does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind." When wa

    June 11, 2014

  • The hashtag idiocy It takes a nearly impenetrable obtuseness to conclude that the most salient thing to know about University of California Santa Barbara killer Elliot Rodger is that he was a white male who didn't like women. Yet many liberal commentators have managed

    June 7, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor To the Editor: I continue in amazement at the rehashing of the tired arguments put forth regarding the need to further control guns as put forth in Brian Howey's column. In Howey's "report," he sets forth that guns are responsible for the deaths they

    June 7, 2014

House Ads
Hendricks County Marquee
Email News Sign Up
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Has the rash of shootings in Indianapolis made you reconsider attending an event or patronizing a business there? Yes, it's out of control No, it's no more dangerous than anywhere else

     View Results
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Must Read