Baseball's over the Top Tribute to Jackie Robinson

By John W. Lillpop

Sixty two years ago, on April 15, 1947, a young African-American ball player broke major league baseball's color line by playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers against the Boston Braves at Ebbets Field.

Thus began the legend of Jackie Robinson who was a magnificent all around athlete and a baseball super star. As a long time fan of the Dodgers, I particularly appreciate the fact that Robinson elected to retire rather than accept a trade to the archenemy New York Giants in 1956.

Over the years, Jackie's legacy has continued to grow and grow, as America has become more sensitive to racial issues.

Unfortunately, Robinsonmania has reached the point of absurdity because of a bit of mindless tinkering by baseball Commissioner Bud Selig who really should stick to a vocation that he is qualified to handle--selling used cars.

As reported in the New York Times, in part:


"There will be No. 42s everywhere on Wednesday as Major League Baseball honors Jackie Robinson’s first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers, which came on April 15, 1947. Commissioner Bud Selig has asked that all managers, coaches and players on the 30 major league teams wear Robinson’s number as a sign of unified support for the anniversary, which marks the breaking of baseball’s color barrier."

So, Bud Selig thinks that the diversity brought about by Jackie Robinson should be celebrated by making everyone the same? What the hell is the logic in that, Bud?

Selig's hair brained scheme had other fall out: With everyone wearing No. 42, rowdy fans were denied the pleasure of knowing exactly whom they were booing!

In addition sportswriters, broadcasters, public address announcers, and scoreboard operators were forced to remain cold sober for more than three consecutive hours just to avoid complete chaos, what with all of those No. 42s to keep track of.

What next, Bud?