Rachel Robinson, the widow of baseball great Jackie Robinson appeared Sunday on Meet the Press as the new movie about her husband, “42” was wrapping up its opening weekend (“Jackie Robinson Day” is Monday all across baseball). She told host David Gregory she was pleased and excited about the film.
The Shad couldn’t stay away. I saw the movie Sunday night and I was blown away by a number of things:
• Jackie Robinson’s courage. The film shows the unbelievable restraint Robinson showed in the face of ugly racism.
• The fact that the stomach-turning racism depicted in the film was prevalent less than 70 years ago. I just can’t get my head around the racism in people’s hearts (and it obviously still exists today in some places today).
• With all the focus (and rightly so) on Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball, it overshadows his amazing athleticism. He is what is called today a “five-tool player.” That’s the ability to hit for average, hit for power, great fielding, great throwing and speed. Robinson had it all.
I don’t consider myself a film critic by any stretch of the imagination. However, I highly recommend “42.” It’s not just a baseball movie. It’s about the ugly side of our society at the time; it’s about courage under intense fire; it’s about love and commitment; and it’s an outstanding movie.