April 14, 2013
42 Inspirational, old-fashioned Hollywood account of Jackie Robinson's historic demolition of the color barrier in Major League Baseball, and his relationship with Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers exec who gave Robinson his uniform. Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford star. PG-13 From Up on Poppy Hill From Studio Ghibli, the famed Japanese animation studio, a gentle, meditative tale in which an industrious 16-year-old joins a campaign to preserve a dilapidated old clubhouse where the boys at her school live.
April 12, 2013 |
WHY DID Branch Rickey do it? Why did that Bible-quoting, cigar-chomping, bushy-browed president of the Brooklyn Dodgers sign Jackie Robinson to a major-league contract in 1947, knowing that Robinson would need armadillo skin and saintly patience to endure the venomous treatment he'd get from baseball's bigots? Why did Rickey do it? The question gets asked three times in "42," the new, patchwork yet well-intentioned film about Rickey and Robinson and the breaking of baseball's color barrier.
July 22, 2012 |
So late Wednesday night, the trip ended. The Monarchs came home to Philadelphia. What a trip it was. Forget all the cultural experiences and think about just the baseball for a moment. The Anderson Monarchs baseball team, 15 10- and 11-year-olds from South Philadelphia, saw eight Major League Baseball games on their 4,000-mile barnstorming trip around the country. And in the eight pro games the Monarchs watched, the home team went undefeated. More teams are going to want the Monarchs to visit.
April 18, 2012 |
The Phillies joined the rest of Major League Baseball last weekend in donning Jackie Robinson's retired uniform number, 42. It was a fitting tribute to the man who broke the game's color barrier 65 years before. But Robinson was not the only pioneer of baseball's integration. Roy Campanella, a native Philadelphian and teammate of Robinson's on the Brooklyn Dodgers, also gained acceptance among white players in the same era. Unlike Robinson, however, "Campy" relied mainly on his exceptional ability as a power-hitting catcher, refusing to directly challenge the discrimination he faced or the systems that permitted it. His example also played an important role in integrating baseball.
March 30, 2012 |
FRANK DELANO Burbage was a proud Marine. So proud, he was able to convince others, including relatives, that they should also become one of the "few, the proud," as a recruiter at the 52nd and Walnut streets office. "He was very convincing," said his brother-in-law, Alfred Burbage Jr., who joined up. Frank Burbage, who served first in the Air Force after being inspired by tales of the Tuskegee Airmen, then joined the Marines and rose to the rank of gunnery sergeant, died March 19. He was 68 and lived in Southwest Philadelphia.' Frank was a typical tough guy with a heart of gold.
January 28, 2012 |
The color barrier couldn't stop Willie O'Ree from playing in the NHL. Neither could his secret: He was blind in one eye. "Forget about what you can't see and concentrate on what you can see," O'Ree told a group of around 50 young hockey players at the Flyers SkateZone in Pennsauken on Wednesday. The group plays the sport through the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation, an organization created in 2005 by the Flyers owner to promote the game among inner-city and underprivileged youngsters.
May 20, 2011 |
It is inevitable. It is coming. An active player in one of the major team sports is going to come out and be for gay people what Jackie Robinson was for African Americans. As far as Will Sheridan is concerned, it's already happened. "If my memory serves," Sheridan said Thursday night, "didn't Sheryl Swoopes come out while she was an active player? I don't think women's basketball gets nearly enough respect. That's a team sport. " Point to Sheridan. Swoopes did come out in 2005, and she endured a certain amount of backlash for it. She also said she was relieved and happy not to have to keep hiding who she really was. But men's team sports may be the last stronghold of macho, intolerant attitudes.
April 14, 2011
The Phillies, like every team in Major League Baseball, will wear No. 42 on Friday to honor Jackie Robinson. A life-size, hand-carved, wooden statue of Robinson will be on display in Ashburn Alley for fans to take photos. The team will also honor two players from the Negro League Philadelphia Stars - pitcher Harold Gould and second baseman Mahlon Duckett. Robinson broke the color barrier on April 15, 1947. Fifty years later, his No. 42 was retired throughout baseball. The Yankees' Mariano Rivera is the last 42 left.
March 18, 2011 |
IT STARTED innocently, as many traditions do. Thirty years ago, baseball barely observed St. Patrick's Day during spring training. Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley, proud Irishman that he was, always made sure that corned beef and cabbage was the dinner entree at Dodgertown in Vero Beach. That was about it. And then Tug McGraw decided to have a little fun. It's a well-worn tale by now. How McGraw, who had proclaimed St. Patrick's Day his favorite holiday, conspired to have his entire uniform dyed green the night before.
April 16, 2010 |
Who wants an $18 million platoon player? The Bleacher Bums in Wrigley Field have found their target for 2010, and have been entertaining themselves all week by booing Cubs leftfielder Alfonso Soriano. Not that Soriano is a random target. He dropped a key fly ball in Cincinnati on Sunday and misplayed another two against Milwaukee on Wednesday, then was booed off the field during a double switch. None of this would matter a whole lot except for two things: Soriano is under contract for five more seasons at a stupendous $90 million; and his once deadly offensive production appears to have evaporated at age 34. Soriano was not in the starting lineup against Milwaukee on Thursday, as he was hitting a brisk .214 with a single RBI. The slugger was a one-man team for the hideous Washington Nationals in 2006, ripping 46 homers with 119 runs, 95 RBIs, and 41 stolen bases to boot.