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Here's a Jackie Robinson Giants' jersey...that's like having a Joe DiMaggio Red Sox jersey, or Troy Aikman Redskins jersey.

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I love that people are wearing 42 for him, but selling these jerseys is just stupid.

Robinson was traded to the Giants but chose to retire and go to work for Chock Full'O Nuts instead.

The 50 year anniversary was enough. Where is the Larry Doby Tribute Day? Why not a Roberto Clemente Day too?

The Indians have petitioned MLB to do a Larry Doby day on July 5 where they all wear his number, 14.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/base...y.ap/index.html

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Either way, baseball's been pimpin' a romanticized version of the Jackie Robinson story for decades now, at least now they're up front about it.

I was listening to the Cardinals-Brewers game and they were talking about all of the hardships that Jackie faced, but I was curious as to why they never said where a lot of this stuff took place. You would think it would be in the Southernmost city in the Majors at that point....HEY, wait a second, that was St. Louis!!!!

For the record, I know it happened other places than in STL, it's just kind of funny that the Cardinals are trying to be all high and mighty (which they always do) and classy when dealing with a tribute like this (which they usually are) but I just thought it was a tad insincere.

I missed most of the broadcast today, but I'm a little curious what exactly you mean? This stuff took place all over for the most part as you note, but what exactly is St. Louis' significance that you bring it up? Or are you saying you view a lot of the tributes as slightly insincere because of what happened. Or were they acting as though it didn't happen in St. Louis? Or did Robinson play one of his first games in St. Louis (I'll look that up after I post) and so St. Louis was one of the first places he faced these hardships?

I'm just curious. I'm honestly not trying to defend my city as a homer here, but because it's my city I am looking for clarification.

A story I've heard (which illustrates that St. Louis certainly wasn't free from this racial hatred and also illustrates the greatness of character of a great player) is that in the first game Robinson played against the Cardinals (not sure whether it was in STL or Brooklyn), the entire team was ready to not play the game in protest, but the great Stan Musial knew better and talked his team out of that and into going and playing a game of baseball.

Before I post, I did just re-read your post and maybe understand it more. You just felt like the Cardinals broadcast maybe was ignoring the fact that such intolerance occured in St. Louis? Could be true, or could be they felt since it happened every where there was no reason to specify. As for an insincere tribute, in the same way I don't think I should be held accountable for slavery just because people of the same race as me had slaves 200 years ago, I don't think you can say the current organization and city's tribute is insincere just because 60 years ago the people of the city and team weren't tolerant. Plus, it wasn't all that long after that the Cardinals were on the forefront of integration, a great example of which is that they bought their Spring Training hotel so that their black players would not be required to stay in a separate hotel from their white players. But I'm still not completely sure I understand what your saying, so I'll let you clarify.

I think insincere was the wrong word. I don't think that the tribute is insincere in any way, shape, or form, it just was the fact that they were talking about these things that happened without mentioning that many of them happened in St. Louis. I'm not saying that John (and the other guy, don't know who it was, but it wasn't Mike) had to profusely apologize, just that I think it would've been more fair that they say that these things happened here, it was wrong, then go into something like the Spring Training thing for clarification if you want. (Which I have read before and that was a very cool thing to do, but it was also after AB had bought the team, IIRC) I have nothing against STL or the Cards, just thought that the broadcast (nothing to do with the tribute at all as a matter of fact) was a little disingenious, not insincere. From what I've read in the past, basically up until the Civil Rights movement (in fairness, maybe a little before) St. Louis had some of the worst race relations in the country, but since they were a fairly Northern city, not many people know that now, and while I don't want to be a bleeding heart, I do think it's something that should be at least acknowledged as an old problem and how much times have changed with everything, Cardinals included.

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It's not like St. Louis is a paragon of race relations now either. However, that's hardly limited to the STL. Cincinnati had full-on race riots just five years ago. I've done some reading on Detroit and while I can't speak for where that city is at today, there were some really bad times there was recently as 30 years ago. I also don't think that it would take too much to spark Rodney King-level reactions in other cities either.

If the Don Imus case showed us anything (and hopefully it did), is that this country has a LONG way to go before we accept all colors of citizens in this country as equals. Jackie Robinson's legacy is that black Americans are at least as good as ballplayers as white guys and deserve an equal shot at the game. While our country has come a long way since 1947 in race relations, I'm not positive that we can be entirely proud of where we are today.

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I don't think this is all that terrible, unless you're one of the fans stupid enough to buy a jersey with a 42 on it, thinking that you got anything other than just that. Yeah, its really just a cash grab, but its not cheapening the Robinson name or anything. At the end of the day, if people are buying these, they are indeed honoring him.

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Being a third generation Indians fan I'll get on the Doby train.

I don't want to take away from what Robinson did, but I would like to point out and trumpet what Doby did.

Larry Doby was signed by Bill Veeck in the middle of the season from the Newark club in one of the negroe leagues. He was not groomed in a farm system and transitioned into the big league camp at spring training. One day he was in Newark the next he was breaking the color barrier in the American League. In those days there was no Major League Baseball with capital MLB, there were the major leagues- the American and the National. Two very seperate entities which only got together during the world series. The leagues hired and used their own umpires and even played with two different brands and models baseballs.

What Robinson did was great, but I think in this day and age what Doby did, which was arguably tougher, is easily looked past. Bill Veeck said in "Veeck as In Wreck" that Doby could have easily been one of the greatest hitters of all time if not for the way he so personally took some of the sturggles early in his career.

Larry Doby: Second to None.

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Now what about some ordinary baseball fan who already owns an MLB jersey of some sort of his favorite team that has his own last name (say Roberts) and his favorite number, which happens to be 42 (maybe he's a Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fan, or his birthday is April 2nd...it doesn't reeally matter why.)

Excluding the opinions of those who don't like the idea of someone putting their own name and number on the back of a jersey, would he now look insensitive or would people think he is now more stupid?

I didn't mind it when the players decided to wear 42 to honor Jackie Robinson, but it's stupid to sell just a blank 42 jersey (withOUT the anniversary patch) as something special when anyone could have bought one of these jerseys anyways with their own option to put a 42 (and/or name) on it.

--Roger "Time?" Clemente.

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The way it was handled this year made Robinson seem like a novelty and not a pioneer.

It needs to be handled better in the future.

For example:

The N.L. ROY wears 42 in his 2nd season and the A.L. ROY wears Dolby's number (he was the first black in the AL if I am correct.

Or the MVP of each league wears 42 on his sleeve the following year.

just some ideas.

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The 50 year anniversary was enough. Where is the Larry Doby Tribute Day? Why not a Roberto Clemente Day too?

I hate to be cynical about all this, and I think it is important to honor and remember what Jackie Robinson did not only for baseball but for society as a whole, but maybe they've made such a to-do about the 60th anniversary because someone finally noticed the dwindling number of black major leaguers (8.4% at the start of the season)? The fact that they can make money off the memorabilia is a given, but the percentage of black MLB players has dropped from 27% to single digits in about 20 years. And MLB had a large role in that decline by ignoring the inner cities, which came to be fertile grounds for the NBA and NFL to find talented kids who used to play baseball. Instead, MLB put a lot of emphasis on finding talent outside the US (read: cheap talent), in Latin America and Asia. While MLB is trying to reverse this, these efforts won't translate into major league ballplayers for 10-15 years. And whereas before, baseball was a sport that kids in the inner cities played with little outside competition, MLB is now running far behind in the pursuit of these kids, behind basketball and football, not to mention other niche sports, TV, video games, etc.

A Roberto Clemente Day would be nice, but I don't know that Latino ballplayers were banned to the same degree that black players were. And with 30% of MLB rosters being Latino, there's less impetus to drum up interest in Latino communities for baseball, if my suspicions are true.

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I think insincere was the wrong word. I don't think that the tribute is insincere in any way, shape, or form, it just was the fact that they were talking about these things that happened without mentioning that many of them happened in St. Louis. I'm not saying that John (and the other guy, don't know who it was, but it wasn't Mike) had to profusely apologize, just that I think it would've been more fair that they say that these things happened here, it was wrong, then go into something like the Spring Training thing for clarification if you want. (Which I have read before and that was a very cool thing to do, but it was also after AB had bought the team, IIRC) I have nothing against STL or the Cards, just thought that the broadcast (nothing to do with the tribute at all as a matter of fact) was a little disingenious, not insincere. From what I've read in the past, basically up until the Civil Rights movement (in fairness, maybe a little before) St. Louis had some of the worst race relations in the country, but since they were a fairly Northern city, not many people know that now, and while I don't want to be a bleeding heart, I do think it's something that should be at least acknowledged as an old problem and how much times have changed with everything, Cardinals included.

Did a little more reading on my own, and it appears that the Cardinals and some/much of the city may have been a little late catching on, but when they did, they did so in a very strong and influential manner (such as the hotel example that I mentioned earlier).

So, yeah, i definitely understand what you're saying.

Enos Slaughter, a great Cardinal ballplayer, apparently was one of the most brutal to Robinson. Though, he was actually hardnosed and brutal to everyone, but still, worse to Robinson. He died in 2002 I believe, but I think I've read that he had absolutely denounced his racist feelings and actions later in his life.

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St. Louis and Boston were 2 of the worst teams in terms treatment towards black players and signing black players. The Red Sox didn't even sign a black player until 1959. Robinson wasn't able to stay in the team's hotel in St. Louis until 1954, and that was if he agreed not to use the pool or dining room.

Neither's previous actions are a reflection on today's management/ownership of either team. But its certainly not something to ignore.

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Feel free to flame but this is an honest question. Why is it Jackie Robinson day and not Branch Rickey day? #42 didn't really "do" anything to break the color barrier. Someone had to choose him, sign him and insert him into the lineup, no? Wasn't that the person who really broke the color barrier?

Do NOT misunderstand me. What Mr Robinson went through when entering the majors was certainly not something I would wish upon anyone. I just don't understand why Mr Rickey does not get his due when this topic, or that of Mr Clemente, arises.

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Feel free to flame but this is an honest question. Why is it Jackie Robinson day and not Branch Rickey day? #42 didn't really "do" anything to break the color barrier. Someone had to choose him, sign him and insert him into the lineup, no? Wasn't that the person who really broke the color barrier?

Do NOT misunderstand me. What Mr Robinson went through when entering the majors was certainly not something I would wish upon anyone. I just don't understand why Mr Rickey does not get his due when this topic, or that of Mr Clemente, arises.

Actually, Branch Rickey already gets a bunch of credit he doesn't deserve when it comes to Jackie Robinson. He didn't sign Jackie to strike any kind of blow for civil rights, he did it for the same reason any business owner does anything... for profit.

In those days, Major League teams were forbidden from scouting players at Negro League games. But Rickey knew that if he could somehow get around that rule, he could tap into an untouched talent pool. So he founded a Negro League called the United States League and had Dodgers scouts act as scouts of the USL clubs so he could legally send them to Negro American League games (whom the KC Monarchs were a member of). Basically, the scouts would pretend that they were scouting players for the USL when they were actually scouting them for the Dodgers.

Spike Lee has been trying for years to make a movie about Jackie Robinson from that perspective, but he's been having a hard time finding anyone who wants to say anything that might discredit the fluffy, made for TV story that baseball's been telling for 60 years.

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Another thing about Rickey- it was common in those days when you signed a player away from another team to pay them for that player. Rickey did not even pay the courtesy of cash for snatching Robinson. Bill Veeck on the other hand paid an upfront money to the Newark Eagles and then a larger sum at the end of Larry Doby's first season with the Indians. Reading between the lines Rickey was a bit of a schister.

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Seems a little shaddy to me...

shad.jpg

Here's a Jackie Robinson Giants' jersey...that's like having a Joe DiMaggio Red Sox jersey, or Troy Aikman Redskins jersey.

pMLB2-3681887nm.jpg

I love that people are wearing 42 for him, but selling these jerseys is just stupid.

Or any Chuck Knoblauch jersey.

Seriously though, I guess you can't techinically disallow a team from this celebration, but I believe that not too many people purchased this specific jersey. As for selling these 'tribute' jerseys, I hope the profits at least go to helping in the upkeep inner city fields or the NAACP or the UNCF.

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The way it was handled this year made Robinson seem like a novelty and not a pioneer.

It needs to be handled better in the future.

For example:

The N.L. ROY wears 42 in his 2nd season and the A.L. ROY wears Dolby's number (he was the first black in the AL if I am correct.

Or the MVP of each league wears 42 on his sleeve the following year.

just some ideas.

How about either of these suggestions?

1.Each team has its players vote on which player will wear the #42 for them for one day. On each team's first home date after April 15 that player is announced. If the player is a starting pitcher, the team can wait until his turn in the rotation to have a #42 worn.

2.Have all the managers wear #42 on 4/15, and the players wear arm bands with "4/15/47-JR-42" on them.

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I'm still not too sure if the whole 'wearing the number 42' thing was the appropriate/effective means of celebrating the event.

I do think that what MLB did by completely retiring the number across both leagues was the most appropriate way to celebrate the man and the accomplishment. I don't think anything else they could do from here on out would top that honor.

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Feel free to flame but this is an honest question. Why is it Jackie Robinson day and not Branch Rickey day? #42 didn't really "do" anything to break the color barrier. Someone had to choose him, sign him and insert him into the lineup, no? Wasn't that the person who really broke the color barrier?

Do NOT misunderstand me. What Mr Robinson went through when entering the majors was certainly not something I would wish upon anyone. I just don't understand why Mr Rickey does not get his due when this topic, or that of Mr Clemente, arises.

Actually, Branch Rickey already gets a bunch of credit he doesn't deserve when it comes to Jackie Robinson. He didn't sign Jackie to strike any kind of blow for civil rights, he did it for the same reason any business owner does anything... for profit.

In those days, Major League teams were forbidden from scouting players at Negro League games. But Rickey knew that if he could somehow get around that rule, he could tap into an untouched talent pool. So he founded a Negro League called the United States League and had Dodgers scouts act as scouts of the USL clubs so he could legally send them to Negro American League games (whom the KC Monarchs were a member of). Basically, the scouts would pretend that they were scouting players for the USL when they were actually scouting them for the Dodgers.

Spike Lee has been trying for years to make a movie about Jackie Robinson from that perspective, but he's been having a hard time finding anyone who wants to say anything that might discredit the fluffy, made for TV story that baseball's been telling for 60 years.

Someone who perhaps does deserve credit is Bill Veeck. Not because he brought Larry Doby to the Indians (though he does deserve credit for that).

I don't know the ends and outs of it, but I've heard a story that about 5 or so years before Robinson broke in, Bill Veeck was prepared to purchase the Phillies and stock the team full of talent from the Negro Leagues. However, then MLB commissioner and big time racist, Kennesaw Moutain Landis blocked the move from happening.

I realize Veeck was quite the businessman too, but you have to realize that just doing it for profit still constitutes a great move on their part.

Looking to tear down barriers is all well and good, but even better is simply understanding that black or white, a group of good baseball players is going to give you a winning team.

I personally believe that thought process is a better one than one where the goal is simply to empower a race.

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Feel free to flame but this is an honest question. Why is it Jackie Robinson day and not Branch Rickey day? #42 didn't really "do" anything to break the color barrier. Someone had to choose him, sign him and insert him into the lineup, no? Wasn't that the person who really broke the color barrier?

Do NOT misunderstand me. What Mr Robinson went through when entering the majors was certainly not something I would wish upon anyone. I just don't understand why Mr Rickey does not get his due when this topic, or that of Mr Clemente, arises.

Actually, Branch Rickey already gets a bunch of credit he doesn't deserve when it comes to Jackie Robinson. He didn't sign Jackie to strike any kind of blow for civil rights, he did it for the same reason any business owner does anything... for profit.

In those days, Major League teams were forbidden from scouting players at Negro League games. But Rickey knew that if he could somehow get around that rule, he could tap into an untouched talent pool. So he founded a Negro League called the United States League and had Dodgers scouts act as scouts of the USL clubs so he could legally send them to Negro American League games (whom the KC Monarchs were a member of). Basically, the scouts would pretend that they were scouting players for the USL when they were actually scouting them for the Dodgers.

Spike Lee has been trying for years to make a movie about Jackie Robinson from that perspective, but he's been having a hard time finding anyone who wants to say anything that might discredit the fluffy, made for TV story that baseball's been telling for 60 years.

Someone who perhaps does deserve credit is Bill Veeck. Not because he brought Larry Doby to the Indians (though he does deserve credit for that).

I don't know the ends and outs of it, but I've heard a story that about 5 or so years before Robinson broke in, Bill Veeck was prepared to purchase the Phillies and stock the team full of talent from the Negro Leagues. However, then MLB commissioner and big time racist, Kennesaw Moutain Landis blocked the move from happening.

I realize Veeck was quite the businessman too, but you have to realize that just doing it for profit still constitutes a great move on their part.

Looking to tear down barriers is all well and good, but even better is simply understanding that black or white, a group of good baseball players is going to give you a winning team.

I personally believe that thought process is a better one than one where the goal is simply to empower a race.

Well unlike Branch Rickey, Veeck's reputation easily lends itself to the idea that he genuinely thought segrgation in baseball was wrong.

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