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Jackie Robinson Day 2018: New Patches and Everyone is #42

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I like that everyone wears 42 and I like the patch but the socks were terrible. They look black and it's hard to tell what they have to do with Jackie Robinson.

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9 hours ago, O.C.D said:

it's a little cultish 

 

I mean, if you're going to use this definition: "an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers." 

 

I think Major League Baseball and American society, as a body of admirers, should insist on the great veneration of the "person" Jackie Robinson, the "ideal" of equality he represented, and the number he wore (the "thing"). 

 

It's a big, convincing gesture. It signals to every person watching "this is how you ought to think. This is who you should celebrate and look up to. This number means something really important." I fully believe it's not only acceptable but outstanding that MLB is pushing this agenda. 

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11 hours ago, DeFrank said:

 

I mean, if you're going to use this definition: "an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, especially as manifested by a body of admirers." 

 

I think Major League Baseball and American society, as a body of admirers, should insist on the great veneration of the "person" Jackie Robinson, the "ideal" of equality he represented, and the number he wore (the "thing"). 

 

It's a big, convincing gesture. It signals to every person watching "this is how you ought to think. This is who you should celebrate and look up to. This number means something really important." I fully believe it's not only acceptable but outstanding that MLB is pushing this agenda. 

I didn't think you'd take the pro-cult position. Your approach to this topic has kind of an authoritarian flavor to it. 'This is how you ought to think, this is who you should look up to'. It's not so different from what the church used to do when making people into saints. It seems like you and I dislike/love the current version of this promotion for the exact same reason. I would guess that you and I probably feel very differently about a platform being used, or co-opted, in order to push an agenda designed for social engineering. 

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Wearing the same number to represent equality is a nice idea, but wearing patches with the sole purpose (let's be honest here) of selling more merchandise is pathetic.

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7 hours ago, Bmac said:

Wearing the same number to represent equality is a nice idea, but wearing patches with the sole purpose (let's be honest here) of selling more merchandise is pathetic.

 

If they donate the proceeds to a relevant charity, that takes the sting out a bit... I may be projecting, but the fact that it only dates back a decade gives off some major "positive corporate PR" undertones, like a contorted vulturization of segregation as a marketing tool.

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What I dislike about Jackie Robinson Day is that it is less about paying tribute to Jackie Robinson than about baseball congratulating itself. The act of all players wearing number 42 is a kind of hyper-self-conscious overkill, as is the league-wide number-retiring. "Look at how virtuous we at Major League Baseball are. If only the rest of society could be as progressive as we are."

 

This distorts the actual history, to put it mildly.  In reality, owners had to be dragged kicking and screaming into accepting black players.  When the Dodgers with Robinson, and later with Newcombe and Campanella, would visit other teams, black fans would flock to the ballparks — and the other National League owners complained about this!  American League teams in particular dragged their feet in signing black players, with the Yankees taking until the mid-1950s and the Red Sox taking until 1959.  And teams continued to employ openly racist managers such as Harry "the Hat" Walker and Alvin Dark well into the 1970s.

 

Baseball's culture was profoundly uncomfortable with non-deferential and outspoken black players, as evidenced by its treatment of Curt Flood, Reggie Jackson, Dock Ellis, Dick Allen, and many others.  But, in this over-the-top Jackie Robinson Day celebration, baseball casts itself as an ally in Robinson's struggle, rather than as his adversary. In fact the baseball establishment was never fully on board with integration, and should not be allowed to posture as champions in the matter.  Even though there are no owners today who are the same as owners in the late 1940s, the self-congratulatory tone of Jackie Robinson Day really rubs me the wrong way for this reason. I'd prefer a more dignified recognition.

The only positive thing that I can say about what we have as Jackie Robinson Day is a uni-related point: it shows that baseball uniforms absolutely do not need the players' names on the back.  Every single uniform is improved by removing the name and having only the number on the back. (This assumes that the positioning of the number is adjusted to account for that.  The Dodgers sabotaged their recent attempt at not having names by keeping the number too low on the back.)  If they can play with everyone wearing the same number and no names, they can certainly play with each guy wearing a unique number and no names.  This is more true now than ever, given the unobtrusiveness of on-screen graphics.

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4 hours ago, C-Squared said:

 

If they donate the proceeds to a relevant charity, that takes the sting out a bit... I may be projecting, but the fact that it only dates back a decade gives off some major "positive corporate PR" undertones, like a contorted vulturization of segregation as a marketing tool.

I don't remember the exact numbers, but from my days in sports retail I can tell you the amount being donated from NFL Breast Cancer Awareness merchandise and similar causes was very low, especially compared to the profit they're turning on the merchandise itself. I don't imagine the JR42 merchandise to be much different from MLB.

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15 hours ago, O.C.D said:

I didn't think you'd take the pro-cult position. Your approach to this topic has kind of an authoritarian flavor to it. 'This is how you ought to think, this is who you should look up to'. It's not so different from what the church used to do when making people into saints. It seems like you and I dislike/love the current version of this promotion for the exact same reason. I would guess that you and I probably feel very differently about a platform being used, or co-opted, in order to push an agenda designed for social engineering. 

 

Yeah so Major League Baseball isn't... the government. It can't be "authoritarian." That's the whole point. That's why I love it. I'm really quite okay with a sports league telling people how they ought to think. That's how society works. 

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7 hours ago, DeFrank said:

 

Yeah so Major League Baseball isn't... the government. It can't be "authoritarian." That's the whole point. That's why I love it. I'm really quite okay with a sports league telling people how they ought to think. That's how society works. 

we think differently 

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Reflecting back on the movie 42 I think it's pretty awesome that Jackie Robinson and Black Panther were played by the same actor. Totally not trying to be funny either, that's pretty cool. 

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