Three Kings. Two Queens. Twelve Hall-of-Famers.

By Joshua M. Casper

London, November 6, 1924.

Apparently, there is a simple solution to spark a rally. Tempt the baseball Gods with the divine right of Kings.

Two Major League Baseball teams are visiting England to try and grow the game in Europe made up predominantly of John McGraw’s New York Giants and Charles Comiskey’s Chicago White Sox.

The White Sox were down 6–0 heading into the middle of the seventh inning. A single spectator yelled: “all up!” The crowd rose.

King George V remained seated, looking puzzled. …


Jackie Robinson changed the face of America forever, with his contributions on the field and off.

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Baseball is inextricably tied to the American narrative. So is race.

There is no more unassailable voice for advancing the cause of equality in America than that of Jack Roosevelt Robinson.

It is an iconic image in the American storybook; number 42 of the Dodgers, one foot out of the dugout, ready to take field for the first time at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field on Major League Baseball’s opening day in 1947. That moment, when Jackie Robinson made his unmistakable pigeon-toed sojourn toward first base with his eight white Dodger teammates changed the racial dynamics of America. It may very well have been a springboard to the modern civil rights movement. . Baseball’s opening day, a tradition since Ulysses S. Grant was President, finally began to reflect the aspirations and talents of all its citizens. Grant fought a war ostensibly tied that very notion — freedom of aspiration for those once in bondage, one which failed in its mission. Little black children could now rest their head upon their pillow dreaming they would one day grow up to be Jackie Robinson. …


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Jackie Robinson atop his mount as a cavalry officer

History can flip on a dime.

“You better quit f — — — with me,” said Lt. Jack Roosevelt Robinson, Cavalry Officer in the United States Army.

Lieutenant Jack Robinson was headed to Europe when fate intervened. An incident borne of racism would lead him in a different direction and mark him for bigger things, where he would etch is name into the American storybook.

Yet, Robinson’s time in the United States Army tells a lot more about the man Jackie Robinson was, and underscores why Branch Rickey chose the right man to wear the aspirations of an entire race on his broad shoulders. …

About

J.M. Casper

Professional writer covering sports, history and other subjects of interest. My mandate is to show how history and culture intersect.

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