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Monday, April 15, 2013

Reminders of Jackie Robinson’s resonance in Brooklyn and beyond | The Strike Zone -

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Robinson’s story has resonated with me for almost as long as I’ve been watching baseball. I first learned about him during the 1978 World Series, when I was eight years old. My father asked me if I knew who the first black player in the majors was. I thought for a moment and took a wild guess, figuring the answer might be in front of me: “Dusty Baker?” I was already color-blind when it came to my baseball heroes; Davey Lopes was my first favorite Dodger, and I couldn’t help but develop a soft spot for the outsized personality of Reggie Jackson, even though he wore the enemy pinstripes.

Dad set me straight regarding Robinson’s pioneering role, but it was my Brooklyn-born paternal grandfather, Bernard Jaffe (1908-2000), who held the larger store of stories about Robinson’s skill, courage and grace, and he shared those with me over the years while teaching my brother and me the game’s fundamentals as well as its history. I remember him recounting an appropriately sanitized version of Dodger manager Durocher’s reaction to the infamous petition circulated by Dixie Walker among Robinson’s less enlightened teammates.

Jim Furtado Posted: April 15, 2013 at 12:42 PM | 0 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers, jackie robinson

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