Moses Fleetwood Walker Myth: Jackie Robinson was the first African American to play in the Major Leagues The great Jackie Robinson accomplished an amazing amount in his lifetime both on and off the field. Despite all the adversity and pressure he experienced, he somehow managed to put up legitimate Hall of Fame numbers doing what is often described as the hardest thing in all of sports- hitting a round ball with a thin round stick.
Where better to begin hammering away at Jim Crow than via the bat and glove wielded within America's pastime?
Robinson emerges as a bona fide hero, an immensely gifted baseball player whose skills yet take second place to his qualities as a human being, and that he served in a much broader capacity than as an athlete: Born into a Californian family of faith and pride, the young Robinson—early an athletic star—would brook no indignities based upon being black, a character trait that made his requisite perduring silence that much more of a burden when his baseball skills brought him into the majors.
Eventually, the uplift provided by his story—loving marriage to the equally impressive Rachel; the determination and unwavering moral firmness part business cunning, part Christian decency of Branch Rickey; the pivotal support of teammates like Pee Wee Reese and Eddie Stanky, along with the legion of black fans whose stadium thronging to catch a glimpse of Robinson revealed a lucrative element of the sports market waiting to be tapped if only parity on the diamond be admitted; the crack in the barriers between white and coloured athletes that, thanks to Robinson's sterling qualities on and off the field, rapidly saw them flattened beneath a flood—serves to overcome the despair and fury invoked by the continuous and draining display of human hatred, baseness, and ugliness operating both at a fever pitch and quotidian assumption.
He's not a perfect figure, of course, particularly in the surprisingly considerable post-baseball chapters, when he's operating in different fields and wherein he takes shots and settles some scores simultaneous with defending certain actions he undertook that were criticized at the time—notably in the arenas of politics [wasn't a fan of JFK, was one of Nixon, a predilection for Republicans that baffled the populace] and a Civil Rights movement with whom he disagreed about means and what he saw as an old guard calcification.
His opinions grew stronger as he aged and personal setbacks unfolded, while a sense of disillusionment mounted—for with all that he accomplished in an active life, he still could never shake the sense that he was a black man living in a white man's world, forced to adapt himself to its demands for simple survival to a degree that his words become more timbered with bitterness.
I have to say that I felt a tremendous amount of pleasure—a real Sunny D glow extending unto the cockles of my noarthern pillock heart—upon discovering how fondly Jackie described and reminisced about his days in Montreal ere the Big Show, about how its people—fans, neighbours, strangers on the street—were the first whom he and his wife felt did not judge them by the colour of their skin; indeed, that their delirious affection for him after his clutch play helped seal the Little World Series for the hometown Royals led to an inflamed pursuit that stirred an observing American reporter to muse: It was probably the only day in history that a black man ran from a white mob with love instead of lynching on its mind.
The restraint and class he exhibited were superhuman, but, thanks to his supportive relationship with Rickey, Robinson was always aware that it was pivotal he do so in the face of endless abuse for the pioneer role he had undertaken.
It was the correct strategy to pursue, to the degree that Robinson's manager in Montreal, Clay Hopper—a Mississippi native with all of the inborn prejudices of the Deep South who had pointedly asked of Rickey while they were observing Robinson in tryouts Do you really think that a nigger is a human being?
That's what constituted progress in the mid-forties. My sister-in-law is black, and the reality that, were she and my brother born but a generation prior, their marriage would have been not only difficult and dangerous, but illegal in certain states, leaves me incredulous and appalled.
America and that includes Canada, which is hardly exempt from prejudice and racism has obviously come a long way since then, and Jackie Robinson's name can stand at a place of high honour among those who were instrumental in bringing about this vital state of affairs.
Alfred Duckett does a fine job of allowing Robinson's words to sound self-wrought upon the page, of the man himself: And while Robinson does not allow us deep glances into his psyche, his words do capture the emotional toll imposed upon him and his wife by exposure to the relentless waves of negativity and abuse, as well as that of personal tragedies like the early death of his troubled son, Jackie Junior.
In absorbing so much of America's racial animus while paving the way for his peers and successors Robinson was prematurely aged, and his death came about rapidly when he was only One need not be a baseball fan to appreciate this book—for it goes without saying that Robinson, beyond his prowess as a ballplayer, was an incredible human being:Jackie and Rachel Robinson had three children together: Jack, Sharon and David.
Rachel said that she and Jackie went to great lengths to create a nurturing home that sheltered their kids from racism.
Find great deals on eBay for jackie robinson i never had it made. Shop with confidence. I Never Had It Made is Robinson's own candid, hard-hitting account of what it took to become the first black man in history to play in the major leagues. I Never Had It Made recalls Robinson's early years and influences: his time at UCLA, where he became the school's first four-letter athlete; Reviews: In , Robinson published his autobiography, I Never Had It Made.
This was also the year he died, way too young, at the age of 53, from a heart attack complicated by diabetes. His autobiography reveals that his politics were continuing to evolve. The year was a memorable one for Jackie Robinson.
On February 10 he married Rachel Isum, and they had their first child on November He signed with the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Baseball League, in an era when professional baseball was racially segregated.
I Never Had It Made by Jackie Robinson Before Barry Bonds, before Reggie Jackson, before Hank Aaron, baseball's stars had one undeniable trait in common: they were all white.
In , Jackie Robinson broke that barrier, striking a crucial blow for racial equality and changing the Reviews: 1.