Sunday, May 18, 2008

Did you know?

Jackie Robinson is a hero. I wish I could have seen him play in person.

Did you know that Branch Rickey, the owner that broke the color barrier by signing Jackie, was also one of the original founders of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes back in 1954?

An excerpt from an article in Gale, CENGAGE learning

Before he decided on Robinson, Rickey, a devout Christian, and president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, had searched nationwide for the ideal African American man, one talented enough to play on major league teams and well-enough adjusted within himself to withstand the attacks sure to come in the racially prejudiced setting. Rickey had scouted Robinson with the Monarchs and was impressed enough to meet with him for a personal assessment.

Rickey interrogated Robinson extensively for three hours on August 28, 1945. In a dramatization of hotel, restaurant, and game situations, he glared at Robinson, shouting demeaning words and phrases while observing his reactions. At the end he quoted the Biblical passage that advises turning the other cheek. Satisfied that Robinson met the tests of ability, stamina, and tolerance, Rickey exacted a promise of extreme patience and forbearance for three years, then offered him a contract. On October 23, 1945, Rickey made the historic announcement that Jackie Robinson, a black man, would play for the Montreal Royals, the minor league affiliate of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Satchel Paige gave a ringing endorsement of Robinson as the best possible selection for "The Noble Experiment."