Last night, I tuned into ESPN to watch the Phillies play the
bad guys of the day New York Mets.
I did not know that Major League Baseball was celebrating “Jackie Robinson Day.”
Every player wore Jackie Robinson’s number, 42 (a number that is otherwise retired from Major League Baseball). In a refreshing change from the normal drivel of the play-by-play and commentary, the telecast included visits to the play booth by Jamie Foxx, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, and Mo Ne Davis, as well as a filmed tribute to her father by Sharon Robinson. In addition, the commentators discussed the contributions of Jackie Robinson to baseball, civil rights, and American society, as well as larger issues regarding the place of African-Americans in baseball and in society.
As I listened to these tributes to one of the bravest men to don a baseball uniform, I could not stem a rising tide of dismay at the overt racism of the current federal administration.
It was one hell of a game. Normally, I fade about the fifth or sixth inning, but I watched this one all the way through. (Mets 7-6 in 12 innings. Drat.)
I also enjoyed that Ryan Howard, the first baseman of the great Phillies teams of the late aughts, had joined the broadcast team. He did a credible job.