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42 film poster - (Warner Brothers)



The real Jackie Robinson of the then Brooklyn Dodgers, posed and ready to swing, is the fist black person that was permitted to play on an American professional sports team thus breaking the racist American color line in 1947 - (US-Library Of Congress photo)


Rachel Robinson the wife of the great Jackie Robinsons who is a true Hero in her own right as she also weathered the hatred, turmoil and prejudice that was forced upon Jackie just for the color of his skin - (John Mathew Smith photo)








James Loving - National Radio Text Service



If there ever was a man that put his life on the line for the game it was Jackie Robinson. What really matters is what Robinson did was for all of mankind. There is not one other athlete that can clam the same. Robinson's place in history can never be broken; he owned it and earned it



Friday September 23, 2022

If there was an athlete that sacrificed his life for a purpose it would be Jackie Robinson. Think about this…. RACISM and how it continues to dominate human behavior 75 years after what Robinson subject himself to. His commitment was so pivotal that there was a film made about some of his experiences, Granted… a life story can't be told in 128 minutes.

42 is a 2013 American biographical sports film about Robinson, the first black athlete to play in Major League Baseball (MLB) during the modern era. The title of the film is a reference to Robinson's jersey number, which was universally retired across all MLB teams in 1997.

In 1945, Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey meets with sportswriter Wendell Smith regarding wanting to recruit a black baseball player for his team; Wendell suggests Jackie Robinson of the Kansas City Monarchs. Robinson accepts, but is warned by Rickey that he must control his temper despite the adversities he will face while breaking the color line.

There's a scene in the film that resonates in my mind. In a game against the Philadelphia Phillies, manager Ben Chapman taunts Robinson with racial epithets commonly known as NIGGER. With encouragement from Rickey, Robinson scores the winning run. When Chapman's behavior toward Robinson generates negative press for the team, Phillies' general manager Herb Pennock requires him to pose with Robinson for Life magazine.

A series of texts is shown in the epilogue of the film regarding Robinson and his teammates' future involvements, as well as others.

The film had numerous problems getting made (produced). Beginning in 1996 with Spike Lee making attempts to deal with Turner Pictures it fell through. The project had several other mismatches until 2011 when it was announced that Legendary Pictures would develop and produce a Jackie Robinson biopic with Brian Helgeland on board to write and direct, under a distribution deal with Warner Bros. Legendary collaborated with Robinson's widow, Rachel Robinson, to ensure the authenticity of her husband's story.

After 17 years in the making the film finally was released in 2013, but again like Robinson it had its problems, but there were numerous historical inaccuracies.

Robinson and Rachel Isum became engaged in 1943, while he was still in the United States Army and before he began his professional baseball career, unlike in the film, where he proposes after signing the contract with the Dodgers.

The Dodgers 1947 spring training was in Havana, Cuba, not in Panama, as shown in the film.

The suspension of Leo Durocher was not directly as a result of his affair with Laraine Day, but largely because of his association with "known gamblers."

The scene of Robinson breaking his bat in the dugout tunnel is not based in fact. Both Rachel Robinson and Ralph Branca, film consultant and Dodger pitcher in the dugout that day, say it did not happen. Director Helgeland concurs, explaining that his justification for including the scene was that he felt "there was no way Robinson could have withstood all that abuse without cracking at least once, even if it was in private."

Red Barber would not have broadcast Dodger away games from the opposing team's ballpark in Philadelphia and Cincinnati, as shown in the film. Radio broadcasts of away games in this era were recreated back at the studio from a pitch-by-pitch summary transmitted over telegraph wire from the stadium where the game was being played.

In the film, Wendell Smith is said to have been the first black member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA). In reality, Sam Lacy was the first, having joined in 1948.

Pirates pitcher Fritz Ostermueller threw left-handed, not right-handed as in the film. His first-inning pitch hit Robinson on the left wrist, not his head, and he claimed it was a routine brushback pitch without racist intent. There was no fight on the mound afterwards. The climactic scene in which Robinson hit a home run to clinch the National League pennant for the Dodgers came in the top of the fourth inning of the game and did not secure the victory or the pennant (it made the score 1-0, and the Dodgers eventually won 4-2). The Dodgers achieved a tie for the pennant on that day, before winning the pennant the next day.

Yes we took some creative license to paint a picture of a very historical period in sports and humankind history. The inaccuracies should stimulate interest to see just what was depicted. 42 was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 16, 2013 in the United States and on February 3, 2014 in the U.K.

Written and directed by Brian Helgeland, the film stars Chadwick Boseman as Robinson, alongside Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni, André Holland, Lucas Black, Hamish Linklater and Ryan Merriman in supporting roles.

In some ways I can relate to the film. Most notably I interviewed the two black players that joined Robinson in 1948 Roy Campanella and 1949 Don Newcombe. Rachel Robinson was sitting next to a paralyzed Campanella when I interviewed him. The photo of her in this column is exactly how she looked when I did the interview which was before 1993 when Campanella passed away.

I will go in depth of how this all came about with Newcombe being the pivot man that brought us together in my October Sports Notes column. The bottom line is this film I a worth watch as it depicts how retarded the American society is.

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