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Jackie Robinson: A Real Mensch


Dodgers broadcaster Red Barber, who grew up with the prejudices of the South, had to learn to treat Jackie Robinson as an equal.

Dodgers broadcaster Red Barber, who grew up with the prejudices of the South, had to learn to treat Jackie Robinson as an equal.

The Jackie Robinson story has been told and retold in print and on the screen. One of the staples of my kosher DVD collection is the 1950 black and white movie “The Jackie Robinson Story,” which stars Jackie Robinson as himself.

Try to find the Robinson DVD and watch the story with your kids. I don’t think I’ll be able to say that about the remake due out next year starring Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey. The new movie is titled, “42,” after Jackie’s uniform number.

By the way, my favorite Jackie Robinson story I head on the baseball beat goes like this:

Robinson received a lot of threatening letters in the mail warning him not to take the field in certain cities. The Dodgers called a team meeting when one letter writer claimed he would shoot Robinson if he went on the field. Reserve outfielder Gene Hermanski raised his hand and suggested, “Let’s all wear number 42. That way he won’t be able to tell which one is Robinson.”

Author, columnist and speaker Irwin Cohen headed a national baseball publication for five years before working in a major league front office earning a World Series ring. The president of the Detroit area’s Agudah shul may be reached in his dugout at irdav@sbcglobal.net.

About the Author: The author of 10 books, Irwin Cohen headed a national baseball publication for five years and interviewed the legendary Hank Greenberg. He went on to work for a major league team and became the first Orthodox Jew to earn a World Series ring. He can be reached in his Detroit area dugout at irdav@sbcglobal.net.


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