Jackie Robinson and how MLB properly began to honor him
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