Thursday, April 12, 2007

Jackie Robinson Remembered, Frank Robinson Honored - "The First," the 60th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson's 1st Game in MLB...

"The First," the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s landmark integration of African American players into major league baseball.

This evening, a diverse crowd numbering about two hundred or so gathered at the George Washington University to celebrate "The First," the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's landmark integration of African American players into major league baseball.

The event was a celebration and reflection of the influence of Jackie Robinson, not only in baseball, but in the American lexicon. University officials, professors and historians spoke at length and with reverence about him; therefore, at times it was highly entertaining, while highly educational.

The author of the book, ‘Boys of Summer’ and the keynote speaker, Roger Kohn, spoke at length about Jackie, at times with great emotion about him and legacy on the culture at large. Kahn has a shared history with Jackie Robinson, having covered him and the Brooklyn Dodgers as a sportswriter for the New York Herald Tribune during the 1950s.

As well, there were quite a few stories about Kahn’s personal interactions with Jackie that made you get an even more intimate sense as to who Jackie really was.

National Baseball Hall of Famer, and former Major League manager, Frank Robinson was the recipient of first annual Jackie Robinson Society Community Recognition Award to acknowledge citizens who have made outstanding the contributions to the District of Columbia and the nation.

As the recipient of the award, he spoke at length for about fifteen minutes about the influence Jackie Robinson had on his career, and more importantly, his life.

In addition to speaking about Robinson’s legacy, he spoke about his time in Cincinnati and Baltimore as a player, as well as a manager with five organizations, especially with the Washington Nationals (he spoke about the city and team with a lot of fondness), and as an executive with Major League Baseball.

In the end, it was a great night to catch stories about baseball, as well as a needed history lesson, but the night was about Jackie Robinson and honoring his legacy.


  • It’s highly recommended you read the “Boys of Summer”. I read a little of the book while I was home sick in anticipation for the event. Such a great read…
  • Frank Robinson spoke quite a bit about his time in Washington D.C. He said that there were questions if baseball would go over in the nation’s capital – Frank believed that it could, and it has so far.
  • He said the 2005 season in Washington was amazing.
  • He was 11 or so when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, and Frank noted that the event made him aware if he had the skills, he could play in the major leagues.
  • Frank Robinson spoke a little about his time in Class A ball, where he played in Columbia S.C. and described it as a painful experience, this considered quitting baseball. That obviously did not happen, but he spoke vividly about being heckled by fans in the South.
  • He spoke with Jackie for the first time in 1956, but not at length until 1957. When Frank spoke with Jackie, he was told, “I want you to be the bet person you can be in society, and be a good person on the field, but even better off the field.”
  • Frank spoke about the value of teamwork, and giving it your full effort.
  • He said baseball was in his blood, and his goal was to play one year in professional baseball, not to become a Hall of Famer, or a manager or executive.
  • Frank got into managing as he spent 6 years in winter ball while he was playing before he got his shot in 1975 with the Cleveland Indians.


cool said...

this was so reterded i need 2 do ma hw not read this borin stuff:-(

cool said...

that was so borin i need 2 do ma hw not read this :-((((((((((((((((

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