There are times Baseball is larger than life. It is a part of the fabric that makes up the United States. And some truly great things have been accomplished through baseball. An end to segregation in the United States is one of those things. Politicians had been trying to bring an end to segregation since before the end of the Civil War. By the end of World War II, America was ready. And a young Black man just out of the Army fit the bill.
All the nuts and bolts that put Jackie Robinson on a Major League Baseball field in 1947 could fill volumes. But his courage set the wheels in motion and the United Staes would never be the same again. One young man and a game, changed the world for the better. And Baseball fans everywhere honor the day, the man, and the game of Baseball.
The attached artwork is meant to honor one day during that historic year. The Dodgers were getting ready to play in Cincinnati and some fans were being brutal to Jackie Robinson. Pee Wee Reese, a white player from Georgia, walked over to Jackie and put his arm around the young rookie. Years later, at Reese’s funeral, Joe Black, another African-American baseball player from the early 50’s who broke into the MLB right after Robinson spoke of Reese – “Pee Wee helped make my boyhood dream come true to play in the majors, the World Series. When Pee Wee reached out to Jackie, all of us in the Negro Leagues smiled and said it was the first time that a white guy had accepted us. When I finally got up to Brooklyn, I went to Pee Wee and said, ‘Black people love you. When you touched Jackie, you touched all of us.’ With Pee Wee, it was No. 1 on his uniform and No. 1 in our hearts.”
Yep, “Larger than Life”