By Jonathan Eig
April 15, 1947, marked an important establishing day in baseball background. whilst Jackie Robinson stepped onto the diamond that afternoon at Ebbets box, he grew to become the 1st black guy to wreck into major-league baseball within the 20th century. global conflict II had simply ended. Democracy had triumphed. Now american citizens have been starting to press for justice at the domestic entrance -- and Robinson had an opportunity to steer the way in which.
He was once an not likely hero. He had little adventure in prepared baseball. His swing was once faraway from swish. And he was once assigned to play first base, a place he had by no means attempted prior to that season. however the largest difficulty was once his mood. Robinson used to be an indignant guy who performed an competitive type of ball. that allows you to prevail he must keep an eye on himself within the face of what promised to be a brutal attack through rivals of integration.
In Opening Day, Jonathan Eig tells the genuine tale in the back of the nationwide pastime's so much sacred delusion. alongside the best way he bargains new insights into occasions of sixty years in the past and punctures a few usual legends. was once it real that the St. Louis Cardinals plotted to boycott their first domestic video game opposed to the Brooklyn Dodgers? was once Pee Wee Reese fairly Robinson's closest best friend at the workforce? used to be Dixie Walker his maximum foe? How did Robinson deal with the extreme rigidity of being the one black guy in baseball and nonetheless be capable of practice so good at the box? Opening Day can be the tale of a staff of underdogs that got here jointly opposed to super odds to trap the pennant. dealing with the robust ny Yankees, Robinson and the Dodgers battled to the 7th video game in a single of the main exciting international sequence competitions of all time.
Drawing on interviews with surviving avid gamers, sportswriters, and eyewitnesses, in addition to newly came upon fabric from data round the state, Jonathan Eig offers a clean portrait of a ferocious competitor who embodied integration's promise and helped release the fashionable civil-rights period. choked with new information and exciting motion, Opening Day brings to lifestyles baseball's final tale.
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Extra resources for Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season
Playing outﬁeld had become second nature after ﬁfteen years. First base, however, drained him mentally. There was one glimmering beneﬁt, though. “At ﬁrst base, you’re so involved in the game that you don’t notice the fans so much,” Mantle said. “The outﬁeld is the worst place for that. . ” Which had never posed a problem for Aaron. P rior to the 1972 season, Hank Aaron signed a three-year contract with the Braves. At $200,000 a year, it made him the highest-paid player in baseball. Dick Allen had since surpassed the ﬁgure, but no one on the Braves earned half as much.
The Dodgers had swept the Braves, dropping them into last place. Or maybe it was his growing sense, accurate or not, that most fans wanted him to fail. Or maybe—and this seemed more likely—it was his slump. He had three hits in twenty-six at-bats. All were home runs. Observers wondered if Aaron, who had been the consummate team player, was now swinging selﬁshly for himself. He said he wasn’t but his performance pointed to a different conclusion. And it frustrated him. For a man trying to remind the world that there was more to him than home runs, he was failing miserably.
Some have graduated from college, others barely escaped high school. Some grew up well off, some poor. They may speak different languages and even vary in age by as much as two decades. Further, while vying against one another for playing time, they must also compete as a team to succeed. Humor helps bridge the differences, keep the atmosphere light, and create camaraderie. In a radio interview one evening, Davey Johnson had blamed his poor batting performance in 1972 on an arm injury that he said effectively left him disabled.