TSN Archives: Jackie Robinson inducted into Baseball Corridor of Fame (Aug. 4, 1962 challenge)

This column, by Chicago Defender sports activities author A.S. “Doc” Younger, first appeared within the Aug. 4, 1962, challenge of The Sporting Information, after Jackie Robinson had damaged one other colour barrier, changing into the primary Black participant inducted into the Baseball Corridor of Fame on July 23, having been elected on the primary poll. “At this time every little thing is full,” Robinson mentioned in his speech in Cooperstown, N.Y., in keeping with TSN’s protection. “I couldn’t be right here with out the recommendation and steering of three of essentially the most fantastic folks I do know — my adviser, an exquisite pal and a person who has handled me as a father, Department Rickey; my mom (Mrs. Mallie Robinson); and my spouse (Rachel Robinson). I by no means thought I’d make it in my lifetime, particularly the primary time round.”


CHICAGO, III. — I’m satisfied that it’s a must to be a Negro to know totally, utterly, what Jackie Robinson’s Department Rickey-engineered entry into Organized Ball has meant to the Negro race from 1945 to 1962

It’s simple to calculate what Robinson’s barrier-breaking creation and profession has meant to Negro gamers who at present are distinguished all through baseball.

All it’s a must to do is take an including machine, complete up all of the quite a few Negroes now taking part in from the 20 main league golf equipment to the lowliest minors, then guess the place they’d be if Rickey hadn’t introduced Robinson into the sport by way of a highly-publicized contractual signing with the farm membership Montreal Royals, at Montreal, on October 23, 1945.

Or … you may add up the salaries of the highest ten Negro main leaguers of 1962 — which totals greater than half-million {dollars} — and you haven’t any issue figuring the monetary benefits the Willie Mayses, Hank Aarons, Ernie Bankses, et al., maintain over the Josh Gibsons, Oscar Charlestons and Smokey Joe Williamses of earlier days.

Jackie Image to Negro Followers

However the creation of Jackie Robinson, who now has been formally inducted as the primary Negro member of the Corridor of Fame at Cooperstown, goes a lot deeper than that … with Negro followers, with Negroes of all courses, circumstances and creeds.

For 19.3 million American Negroes, Jackie Robinson is a logo.

He symbolizes their fixed marketing campaign for full-fledged, first-class relationship, their goals of changing into extra American than they had been when he entered these larger echelons of baseball, than they’re even at present.

Jackie Robinson’s taking part in profession with the Brooklyn Dodgers resulted in 1956, however he stays … that all-important racial image. And, maybe fittingly, he is nonetheless a vociferous man, a tough-minded, wanna-win man, who battles simply as onerous on the civil rights entrance as he ever did on the diamond for the Dodgers, and he by no means back-tracked on both of them.

MORE: Jackie Robinson Day 2022: The everlasting affect of No. 42

As a Negro newspaper sports activities author, I used to be privileged to be round when Jackie got here into the most important leagues. Personally, I felt the pure and regular racial elation.

I additionally felt that, eventually, I used to be justified in my life-long love of the sport, that I hadn’t been stocking baseball lore — together with detailed memorization of Georgia Ty Cobb’s minutest data — into my head since age six for nothing. There had been a time, throughout my faculty days, after I all of a sudden started considering significantly of America’s racial scenario and I mentioned to myself, “Baseball is lily-white; Negroes don’t have any probability to play; you are losing your time, Doc, following this recreation and applauding Ted Williams.”

Idolized Ted Williams

Ted Williams was then — earlier than Jackie Robinson — my favourite participant.

However, after I started maturing on the racial factor, I needed to put Ted Williams down and cross him up as my hero.

I left him down till Jackie got here to make baseball worthwhile to me, a Negro, once more. Then I gladly introduced Ted again, to remain. He, Ted, was the best hitter I ever noticed.

I think about it was this manner for a lot of Negro baseball followers. For Negroes have all the time liked baseball. They began taking part in the sport shortly after slavery ended, if not earlier than.

TSN ARCHIVES: If not for Jackie …

Bud Fowler, a effective infielder, is thought to have performed with the in any other case all-white Newcastle, Pa., crew in 1872. Negroes started taking part in main league ball of that period in 1884 and remained 4 years, after which they had been ejected by the bigots.

However for all of my private emotions, I did not actually start to know what Jackie Robinson meant to Negroes till:

—I noticed hundreds of Negroes actually break down the Jim Crow part obstacles and overflow among the many whites to look at him play exhibition video games within the South, cheering like mere mortals on seeing their classical hero shut up.

—I noticed one in all each 5 of Cleveland’s Negro inhabitants end up for a 1948 charity exhibition recreation between the Dodgers and Indians, with Jackie Robinson the massive attraction.

—I attended a sports activities banquet in Los Angeles and heard a conservative-minded accountant let his hair down and communicate in glowing phrases about this participant.

“100 Per Cent Fallacious Membership”

This affiliation of sports activities followers referred to as itself the 100 Per Cent Fallacious Membership of Southern California. This was a gimmicked club-title which assured plenty of “ink” within the papers however, truly, the largely Negro membership completed many good issues. On this night time, the membership was honoring excellent athletes and coaches of all colour.

As I recall, Jackie Robinson was current and L.I. (Brock) Brockenbury, an enormous man whose vocation was accounting, whose avocation was sports activities, was delegated to introduce Jackie.

TSN ARCHIVES: Jackie Robinson makes his debut with the Dodgers (April 23, 1947, challenge)

It was a light-hearted night, loads of jokes and non-malicious needles. No person knew what Brock was going to say.

However Brock made a dead-serious introductory speech by which he ranked Jackie with the biblical heroes.

Till that point, I had prided myself on being Jackie Robinson’s No. 1 fan. After Brock completed, I spotted that he was not kidding, and I quietly accepted my place as a runner-up.

What Jackie Means

Not all Negroes wax as eloquent over Jackie Robinson as Brock did, however that is what Jackie meant to most Negroes.

TSN Originals: How The Sporting Information coated Jackie Robinson’s first spring coaching

He was additional proof that Negroes had a “probability” in America.

He was proof that the phrase “democracy” meant greater than a politician’s calculated spiel.

He was hope for the downtrodden.

He was justification of religion for the believers.

He was the opening door to raised days, throughout, in each part of Negro life.

He was the opening door …


Sidebar: Virginia Author Foresaw Hero Position for Robinson

CHICAGO, In poor health. — When Jackie Robinson’s entry into Organized Ball was introduced, October 23, 1945, many of the white gamers and executives who supplied remark had been both members of the opposition, or extraordinarily cautious about it. However, shocking because it appeared, essentially the most correct appraisal was made by a Southern white sports activities author — W.N. Cox of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, who mentioned:

“I assure that if Jackie Robinson hits homers and performs a whale of a recreation for Montreal, the followers will lose sight of his colour.”

Sidebar: Jackie’s Success Tolled Negro Loops’ Loss of life Knell

CHICAGO, In poor health. —Jackie Robinson’s creation into Organized Ball sounded the loss of life knell for all-Negro leagues. In 1948, Mrs. Effa Manley, then operator of the Newark Eagles of the Negro Nationwide League, chided Negro followers for deserting her league’s video games to “watch a handful of their folks within the majors.”

Larry Doby, a former Eagle then taking part in his second season for the Cleveland Indians, didn’t agree with Mrs. Manley. Doby mentioned: “I feel Negro followers simply have turn out to be acquainted with a greater model of ball and like to see it. Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige, Roy Campanella and myself — we’re simply a part of the image.”

Sidebar: Jethroe Wit Made Followers Overlook Race ‘Conditions’

CHICAGO, III. – There was little humor related with Jackie Robinson’s and Larry Doby’s entry into Organized Ball. However, after the preliminary racial “scenario” was overcome and the Negro gamers started to really feel extra relaxed, their pure good humor was quickly in proof. Sam Jethroe, then taking part in for the Boston Braves, had suffered some issue along with his eyes and had bought glasses. Jim McCulley, a baseball author touring with the New York Giants, was sitting subsequent to Jethroe on the Boston bench when this change of dialogue was recorded:

JIM-How come you are sporting glasses, Sam?

SAM–Received a bum eye.

JIM-Which one?

SAM-The one I hit right-handed with.