Jackie Robinson Day

jroOn April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. In doing so, he became the first African-American to play in the major leagues of baseball, breaking the racist colour barriers that shamefully tarnish the history of the great game of baseball. Jackie Robinson was a wonderfully talented player who earned the praise of fans for his play on the field. He also earned praise for his courage and determination in the face of a racist society that continued to resist the equal participation of non-whites in the game and in the everyday life of the nation. Robinson faced racial taunting and violence on the field, and untold indignities and threats away from the ballpark. Thankfully his determination led the way for more black players to follow and helped our society move along the long slow path towards changing attitudes, promoting acceptance and tolerance, and the goal of eliminating racism. Today in all MLB parks, players will wear #42 in honour of Jackie Robinson.

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Hank Aaron

source: Hand Aaron State Trail.org

Henry “Hank” Aaron was born on this day in 1934.  He became a Major League Baseball player in 1954 and played in a remarkable career all the way until 1976.  “Hammerin’ Hank” is best known for breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, surpassing the Babe’s 714 in 1974. Hank Aaron would finish in 1976 with 755 home runs.  Many people consider that Aaron’s mark is still the legitimate record, as it would be broken in recent years under the cloud of steroid use and accusations of cheating with PEDs.  More impressive is that Aaron displayed such tremendous skills for so long, and in the face of some horrific hate and threats of violence. As Aaron approached Babe Ruth’s record, he faced an increasing number of messages of hate and threats to his life by racists who couldn’t accept that a black man was accomplishing such a feat.  Aaron faced the hate with courage and grace. For more on Hank Aaron:

Baseball Hall of Fame

Baseball Reference

755 Homeruns.com

International Civil Rights Walk of Fame

Jackie Robinson

jroPro baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson was born on this day in 1919. An outstanding player who would go on to win MVP awards and Championships, Robinson will forever be remembered as the first African-American to play Major League Baseball when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. He stood up to unspeakable racism with dignity and grace. In 1997, on the 50th anniversary of his breaking the colour barrier, Major League Baseball retired Jackie’s number, 42.

Jackie Robinson Day

jroOn April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. In doing so, he became the first African-American to play in the major leagues of baseball, breaking the racist colour barriers that shamefully tarnish the history of the great game of baseball. Jackie Robinson was a wonderfully talented player who earned the praise of fans for his play on the field. He also earned praise for his courage and determination in the face of a racist society that continued to resist the equal participation of non-whites in the game and in the everyday life of the nation. Robinson faced racial taunting and violence on the field, and untold indignities and threats away from the ballpark. Thankfully his determination led the way for more black players to follow and helped our society move along the long slow path towards changing attitudes, promoting acceptance and tolerance, and the goal of eliminating racism. Today in all MLB parks, players will wear #42 in honour of Jackie Robinson.

“It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”

yogiFans of baseball and the English language are celebrating the life of Yogi Berra, who passed away yesterday at the age of 90. Berra is in the Hall of Fame as one of the greatest players and managers of all time. He is also the source of:

  • “It ain’t over ’til it’s over.”
  • “It’s déjà vu all over again.”
  • “Baseball is ninety percent mental; the other half is physical.”
  • “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”
  • “You can observe a lot by watching.”
  • “Always go to other people’s funerals; otherwise they won’t go to yours.”
  • “I really didn’t say everything I said.”

Jim Abbott

Jim Abbott was born on this day in 1967. Abbott debuted as a Major League Baseball pitcher in 1989 for the California Angels. He would go on to play for several other teams, including the New York Yankees. It was with the Yankees that he threw a No-Hitter on September 4, 1993.

Jim Abbott was born without a right hand. He would throw with his left hand while his glove would rest on the end of his right arm. To field the ball he would deftly slip his left hand into the glove. To throw, he would then tuck the glove between under his right arm, and get the ball into his left hand. Early in his career teams tried to exploit this apparent “weakness” by bunting on him, but he was an amazingly effective fielder.

Jim Abbott’s ability to thrive as a professional athlete despite his physical challenges is truly inspirational.

After retiring from professional baseball, Jim began to tour the world as a motivational speaker.

For more on Jim Abbott, check out his website, jimabbott.net

Jackie Robinson Day

jroOn April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. In doing so, he became the first African-American to play in the major leagues of baseball, breaking the racist colour barriers that shamefully tarnish the history of the great game of baseball. Jackie Robinson was a wonderfully talented player who earned the praise of fans for his play on the field. He also earned praise for his courage and determination in the face of a racist society that continued to resist the equal participation of non-whites in the game and in the everyday life of the nation. Robinson faced racial taunting and violence on the field, and untold indignities and threats away from the ballpark. Thankfully his determination led the way for more black players to follow and helped our society move along the long slow path towards changing attitudes, promoting acceptance and tolerance, and the goal of eliminating racism. Today in all MLB parks, players will wear #42 in honour of Jackie Robinson.

On this day in history: Hank Aaron Became the Home Run King

It is difficult for us today to understand the significance of April 8, 1974.  On that day in Atlanta, Henry Aaron hit his 715th career home run in Major League Baseball. In doing so Aaron surpassed the record of the legendary Babe Ruth, a record that had stood for 40 years.

That it was the Bambino`s record that was broken was massive. Babe Ruth still holds a place in the pantheon of Baseball icons.  However, in 1974 the Babe was, in the minds of most Americans, the greatest ball player, if not the greatest athlete, of all time. The home run mark of 714 seemed unassailable when it was set in the 1930`s. But even more significant than the record was the colour of the skin of the man who broke it. Hank Aaron was black.  For an African-American, a negro as he would have been known for most of his career, to break the greatest record in sports, was unthinkable. Hank Aaron still has the letters to prove it:

Hank Aaron has the letters tucked away in his attic, preserved these last 40 years. He’s not ready to let them go.

He almost has them memorized by now, but still he carefully opens them up and reads every word, as if he wants to feel the pain.

“You are (not) going to break this record established by the great Babe Ruth if I can help it,” one of them reads. “Whites are far more superior than jungle bunnies. My gun is watching your every black move.”

Yes, Aaron even saved the death threats, the ones that vowed to end his life if he dared break Ruth’s cherished all-time home run record. (USA TODAY)

Read the rest of the article

Hank Aaron

source: Hand Aaron State Trail.org

Henry “Hank” Aaron was born on this day in 1934.  He became a Major League Baseball player in 1954 and played in a remarkable career all the way until 1976.  “Hammerin’ Hank” is best known for breaking Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record, surpassing the Babe’s 714 in 1974. Hank Aaron would finish in 1976 with 755 home runs.  Many people consider that Aaron’s mark is still the legitimate record, as it would be broken in recent years under the cloud of steroid use and accusations of cheating with PEDs.  More impressive is that Aaron displayed such tremendous skills for so long, and in the face of some horrific hate and threats of violence. As Aaron approached Babe Ruth’s record, he faced an increasing number of messages of hate and threats to his life by racists who couldn’t accept that a black man was accomplishing such a feat.  Aaron faced the hate with courage and grace. For more on Hank Aaron:

Baseball Hall of Fame

Baseball Reference

755 Homeruns.com

International Civil Rights Walk of Fame

Jim Abbott

Jim Abbott was born on this day in 1967. Abbott debuted as a Major League Baseball pitcher in 1989 for the California Angels. He would go on to play for several other teams, including the New York Yankees. It was with the Yankees that he threw a No-Hitter on September 4, 1993.

Jim Abbott was born without a right hand. He would throw with his left hand while his glove would rest on the end of his right arm. To field the ball he would deftly slip his left hand into the glove. To throw, he would then tuck the glove between under his right arm, and get the ball into his left hand. Early in his career teams tried to exploit this apparent “weakness” by bunting on him, but he was an amazingly effective fielder.

Jim Abbott’s ability to thrive as a professional athlete despite his physical challenges is truly inspirational.

After retiring from professional baseball, Jim began to tour the world as a motivational speaker.

For more on Jim Abbott, check out his website, jimabbott.net