Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The One Afternoon I Actually Enjoyed Baseball

I quite honestly detest most sports. I mean, it's okay and everything but watching most sports makes me want to gouge my eyes out. True story. However, if one of our children is in a sporting event, I will between talking or people watching, of course.

Our family actually plopped down some hard earned cash one Sunday afternoon and watched the movie 42. Yes, in an actual the-ater. All of us. Very seldom do we go to a movie theater if you couldn't tell.

42 is the story of Jackie Robinson. The story does center around baseball but it is so much more than a baseball movie. It is a story of humans. Humans who get things wrong. Humans who fight for the rights of others. Humans who grow up thinking they are better than others only to learn otherwise. Humans who change and want to see change. Humans who preserver when the world is saying you're wrong and you'll never change how others perceive you because of a color. Humans who go to bat for strangers.

Jackie and his wife were pioneers in sticking it out when both could have said, "I'm done. Let someone else fight this fight." However, I learned to admire President of the then Brooklyn Dodgers, Branch Rickey. He was a fighter for mankind. All of mankind, no matter the color of ones skin. He took a risk. A huge risk by signing the first African-American into major league baseball when, at that time, there was a league for whites and a Negro league for blacks.

I loved some of the movie lines of Harrison Ford who played Branch Rickey in the movie. I haven't researched to find out if they were actual quotes of Mr. Rickey or just some great writing for the movie. For example: "The world’s not so simple anymore, I guess it never was. We ignored it, now we can’t." How applicable for today.

There is one line in which I would have loved to have stood and clapped. It was the part in the movie where one team didn't want to play the Dodgers because of Jackie being part of the team. Mr. Rickey not so gently reminded the owner or manager of that particular team that when he [that other team] gets to Heaven and has to account for this [not wanting to play a team with a black player] that he'll just say he didn't want whites and black together and that will surely get him past St Peter. I'm doing a poor job at remembering the quote and cannot find it on the Internet so I think you should just go watch the movie and listen for this quote. ;)

As typical of Hollywood, there are words thrown around. Words in which I always, no matter how old our children get, remind them not to use. There are some racial slurs but I felt those were appropriate in the movie since it depicted what some of the country was like during this time frame. But, I cringed every time the slur was spoken. Just so you know, I would never use those slurs and would never remain quiet if someone used those around me.

What really saddened me was one scene where a little boy was sitting beside his dad. The little boy was so excited to see one particular player who grew up by the city the Dodgers were playing in that night. Out trots Jackie and the crowd instantly boos and calls out racial slurs. The dad joins in. The boy looks confused and unfortunately, like his father, he starts yelling the same slurs. It is a great commentary on parenting at its worst and how little eyes and ears are watching.


In other news. Today is my dad and aunt's (twins) 86th birthday. Even though neither has a computer, I felt I needed to let you know. Plus they'll never know I just spilled their ages to the entire world. ;)

Have a great day!

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