Monday, February 1, 2016

Black History Month

February is 29 leap year days long this year, giving us 29 days to celebrate Black History Month.

As a baseball fan, we all know about April 15, 1947, the day Jack Roosevelt Robinson broke the big league color barrier debuting for the old Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbetts Field.

My hope is that besides baseball fans, all children in America are taught about Jackie and Dodgers owner Branch Rickey, who signed Robinson to play for the Dodgers Triple A club, the Montreal Royals. 

Yes, it's just baseball to many people, but, in the history of our country, the story of how big league baseball kept players of color out of the game for 60 some years between the great Moses "Fleetwood" Walker, a star player in 1880s professional baseball after playing college ball at The University of Michigan, and Robinson's debut in '47.

And it's also important that we talk about the late Larry Doby, the first African-American ballplayer in the American League, breaking the A.L. color barrier with the Cleveland Indians  just months after Jackie Robinson.

Baseball and America have basically grew up together, with all the growing pains of racial discord constantly prominent all along the way.

We now live in a day where the first African-American President of the United States, Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have led Americans into the 21st Century and a country that includes inclusion for all Americans, regardless of their personal preferences.

Of course President Obama is also a big baseball fan, cheering on his beloved Chicago White Sox whenever possible.

We salute President Obama, Jackie Robinson, Lary Doby, and Fleetwood Walker, to start 29 days in celebration of Black History Month.

Play Ball!

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