Jackie Robin­son and how MLB prop­erly be­gan to honor him

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - SPORTS - Peter Sch­muck

There is no rea­son to won­der why Ma­jor League Base­ball cel­e­brates Jackie Robin­son Day ev­ery April 15.

Robin­son’s place in base­ball his­tory is well­known and right­fully rev­ered. He stood up against the in­sti­tu­tion­al­ized ha­tred of the Jim Crow era to open the ma­jor leagues to AfricanAmer­i­cans and soften the heart of a na­tion steeped in racism.

The only thing to won­der about on the 70th an­niver­sary of Robin­son’s de­but with the Brook­lyn Dodgers is why it took MLB more than a half-cen­tury to fully rec­og­nize his sac­ri­fice and achieve­ment.

Or why we owe for­mer Dodgers gen­eral man­ager Al Cam­pa­nis an ironic debt of grat­i­tude for forc­ing the game to take a hard look at its in­abil­ity to fully as­sim­i­late African-Amer­i­cans and other mi­nori­ties at ev­ery level of the in­dus­try.

It was Cam­pa­nis’ stum­bling in­ter­view on ABC’s “Night­line” with Ted Kop­pel in 1987 that laid bare base­ball’s pa­tron­iz­ing at­ti­tude

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