donderdag 2 mei 2013

42

Although Jackie Robinson was a big star with the Dodgers long, long before I was born, I still have the feeling I've 'known' him. Thanks to April 15th and the numerous books written about him and his rise to the Major League. Without him another black player would have scaled the wall of segregation in sports. But it was him who did it first, not someone else and although he was black he's been blue his entire carrire. He even ended his active playing days when he was traded to the hated New York Giants. There are many statues of Jackie all around the USA. At UCLA Jackie Robinson Stadium for instance or the one in Jersey City. I've seen two of his statues myslf. I really like the one at the Cyclone Stadium at Coney Island. He looks like a guy without a care in the world and is flanked by another Dodger great: Pee Wee Reese.
I have mixed feelings about the statue in Pasadena, the city where he spend a big chunck of his life. It's just his head. It would make me sad if he wasn't accompanyed by his brother Mack, who won silver (200 meters) at the 1936 Olympic Games.

I turned 42 in december, for more than eleven months I will be 'Jackie's number'. It was great to see the huge '42' in the Jackie Robinson Rotunda at Citi Field.

So for me it was extra special when I heard about the movie 42 coming to movie theaters. My girlfriend and I had planned a trip to New York City and I just had to see the movie there. It was great. A historical document about a big step in baseball and Dodger fans. It gave me a very nice idea of how Ebbets Field must have felt like in its hay days. Nowadays it's a sad place. The appartment blocks that occupy former Ebbets Field are humongous and ugly. There is a reminder, though, of the spot where 'Dem Bums' played so many great games. It's a simple plaque, but I can recommend every Dodger fan to take a pilgrimage walk through Prospect Park and along Empire Avenue to Bedford Avenue 1705 and just stand there for a bit. Thinking of Robinson, Campanella, Reese, Erskine, Branca, Snider and many more.

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