Friday, September 13, 2002

Let's talk bigotry

Have you ever read one of those articles on a minority's struggle in a major sport? I just finished a nice piece on Sandy Koufax in the September 9th Sports Illustrated. I have read many similar articles and have seen documentaries on the tube. Usually on Classic Sports. Most of these stories that I have seen and read have focused on the exeriences of black American baseball players. The reason for this is simple, I love to read about baseball and the history of the people of prevalantly African descent in this country is unique. Oh sure, you may say that all history is unique. Nobody asked you. I'm writing this, now get your own blog if you want to complain.

I have noticed that the writers of these stories never interview or mention by name those that treated people like Sandy Koufax, Jackie Robinson, Hank Aaron and Bookpimp badly. They are known as "certain guys" or "a couple of the fellas." Who were these people? Why won't they 'fess up? I do remember one player from the Dodgers of Jackie Robinson's era was interviewed once and he was known as a Robinson hater. I wish I could remember who it was. I do remember that he shrugged his attitude off to his upbringing. Just once I would like to see some guy interviewed who once harrassed a minority player and have him say something like "Yeah, I called him a (insert favorite racial epithet here) and I still hate all (pluralize previous epithet) and I think they have ruined (whichever sport we are discussing)."

I do know that the name Dixie Walker often comes up when Jackie Robinson is discussed. Supposedly he circulated a petition among the Brooklyn Dodgers players during Jackie Robinson's rookie season in an effort to get Jackie thrown off the team. Obviously it failed.

Out of all this mess comes one of my favorite baseball stories. It concerns Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson and a screaming mob. You can read about it here. It's definately a better story than the one about Ty Cobb beating to death the guy that tried to steal his wallet. Now there would be a funny beer commercial. After Cobb beats the guy to death he could go home and discover his wallet on his table and realize he had killed another human being for no reason at all. Then he could tell the story to his friends and they could all laugh about it over a nice cool Ham's.

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