"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Inspiring figure....

Inspire: to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence: His courage inspired his  followers. 

When we as humans experience pain the physical pain registers in one part of the brain (thalamus), but its subjective impact is experienced in another part of our brain (anterior cingulate cortex). And as we recognized and celebrated another "opening day" in our country's pastime on Sunday it's hard not to remember the impact Jackie Robinson had on baseball and on our country. Much can be said about Jackie Robinson, the baseball player, and how his extraordinary talent on the diamond registered with many baseball fans, but it was Jackie Robinson, the man, that impacted more than just a game. 

Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson as an athlete was unbelievable.

He was the 1st four sport Letterman at UCLA (Football, basketball, baseball, & track), NCAA broad jump champion, and was baseball's National league Rookie of the Year (1947) and MVP (1949). In 1949 he also led the majors in hitting (.342) and won the 1955 World a Series with the Brooklyn Dodgers. One could write at great length concerning his athletic success, but it was his affect on a country that was, and still is, legendary.

Jackie Robinson as a man was extraordinary.

The man that was born in Cairo, Georgia to sharecroppers served his country from 1942-1945 and in that time became second Lieutenant in the US Army. He was Director of Community Activities with WNBC and was the Vice President of Chock Full of Nuts in 1957. He was on the board of directors for the NAACP and starred in "The Jackie Robinson Story".

Jackie Robinson was also baseball's first African American baseball player when he broke the color barrier in 1947.

"Stealing Home" against the 
New York Yankees.

Never confused on how to behave, Jackie Robinson acted like a true gentleman while enduring the toughest of circumstances. He never reacted to vicious attacks and horrible comments. There is a Jewish Proverb that states; "I ask not for a lighter burden, but for broader shoulders". Mr. Robinson never asked to be the 1st black baseball player and never asked for a lighter load and less burden. He just carried on with broad shoulders. The only thing he asked for (and earned) was an opportunity. Thanks to Branch Rickey, and the Dodger organization, Jackie Robinson was afforded that opportunity and made the very best of it.

Many of today's athletes would do themselves a lot of good if they would take a close look at Jackie Robinson the man and the athlete. I don't think they will see any DUI records, illegal drug use, domestic abuse, partying in strip clubs, or fines for carrying concealed weapons. 

I mean really, why athletes feel the need to carry weapons is lost upon me. What do they need protection from?  "Zee Germans".

Jackie Robinson's and his family experienced death threats on a daily basis for most of his career as a professional baseball player. The only weapons that he used to protect him and his family were a beautiful smile, kind words, and a courageous attitude. These qualities are still the most effective and inspire many of us today.

So as we watch baseball, the Masters, the NBA (does anyone watch the NBA anymore) this week, and when we are for sure to see the reports of poor behavior by athletes on ESPN, let's take pause to remember Jackie Robinson and his consistent example of what it means to be a professional athlete and what it means to be a man.

His abilities in baseball were obvious to all who watched him play at "the yard" that was called Ebbets Field, but it was in our country's "front yards" that we experienced the impact of a true leader and hero.

Thank you Mr. Robinson...thank you very much. 

sbb   6.4.10 


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