The Gospel Truth

Me and Jackie | April 4, 2013

OK the title is more of a teaser.

I never did have a bone fide relationship with Jackie Roosevelt Robinson.

But I did meet him once when I was 11 years old and I got his autograph to boot.

I remember the Dodgers were playing the Reds and Johnny Podres was pitching.  He won the game 4-0, a harbinger of what he would do in the October Classic.

But that one brief moment did produce an array of great personal stories that I would like to share, partly in anticipation of seeing the new movie 42 about his reintroducing black players into the major leagues.

The film opens on April 12th and stars Harrison Ford, as the sometimes sanctimonious Branch Rickey, who could also be penurious at times and a line-up as obscure as the 2013 New York Mets’ array of nobodies.

Hans Solo and Jackie talk

I say reintroduce blacks into baseball because in truth he was not the first black baseball player.

NBC Today host, Gene Shalit picked up on that immediately when I was his guest on the early morning show, May 9, 1974 concerning my accredited baseball history at Maryville College.

I believe that honor of the first black player belongs to the Walker brothers, Moses and later Welday.

Moses Walker was the catcher for the Toledo Blue Stockings in 1884 in the American Association.

He then played in the minor leagues until 1889 after professional baseball erected a color barrier that stood for nearly 60 years.

After leaving baseball, Walker became a businessman and unsurprisingly  an advocate of Black nationalism.

Moses Fleetwood Walker.jpg

Like Jackie got into racial politics

Walker made his Major League first appearance was on May 1 against the Louisville Eclipse.

In his debut, he went hitless and had four errors. In 42 games, (an omen) Walker had a batting average of .263.

His brother, Welday Walker, later joined him on the team, playing in six games.

Moses Walker was not much of a hitter but was known for having a rocket for an arm.

Oddly enough my guest speaker for that first course in February 1973 was James Cool Papa Bell, a future Hall of Famer, who was relatively obscure when he came to my class for $50 and cab fare.

Bell would be enshrined in Cooperstown the year after appearing at my class.

I can still seem him standing there in front of 17 female students and two male walk-ons, one of whom became and still is my plumber and the other a life-long friend and my discount broker at the bank.

Bell was so neatly dressed… like a banker or even a lawyer,  in a blue-striped suit I could not resist saying to him, Mr Bell you look so ‘cool!’

He told the class that he had scouted Jackie when he was a member of the Kansas City Monarch of the Negro League and found him wanting as a shortstop.

Thumbs down on Jackie

Oh he could play baseball, but defensively his range was modest and his arm too weak for shortstop.

I think Bell recommended against signing him, an honest assessment, given Jackie’s success at every position the infield…except shortstop.

When Robinson came to the Dodgers in 1947 they had to play him at first base, a position he was very unfamiliar with.

His footwork was terrible and it nearly got him seriously injured.

This led to rumors, some of which may have been true, that players were deliberately trying to spike him, especially on his Achilles tendon, which could have been career-ending.

Waist-up portrait of black batter in his mid-thirties, in Brooklyn Dodgers uniform number 42, at end of swing with bat over left shoulder, looking at where a hit ball would be

Had the black fire

Joe Garagiola, the personality-plus catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals had several run ins with Robinson.

From what I read about these incidents they stemmed from the strong competitiveness of both players and not any deep-seated racial prejudice.

Joe had suffered his own brand of ethnic prejudice and accepted it as part of a baptism under fire that virtually every rookie went through.

I don’t believe Robinson totally understood that or Joe Garagiola for that matter.

Joe told me that himself during an afternoon interview session I did with him in 1974 for an article that never got published.

My father had simply called the NBC studios in New York and arranged the interview for me.

I spent the afternoon with him as he taped five episodes of TV game show that was in its beginning stages.

One of the engineers quipped that Joe had shot down more pilots than the Luftwaffe– the Nazi airforce in WW II.

Joe Garagiola 1951.png

Risked his career for Jackie

During the intermissions, I not only got to watch him change his pants four times but listen to him as he talked about Yogi, his St. Louis youth, baseball humor and of course Jackie.

During our chat he told me a story about Jackie and how Joe had nearly ruined his career trying to protect Robinson at first base.

Contrary to rumors that he was out to get Robinson, Joe tried to avoid stepping on his vulnerable ankle.

In doing so he tripped over the base and dislocated his shoulder.

He missed about half of the season, playing just 77 games.  His once high .350 average sank to .257 at season’s end.

I saw the scars to prove his point.

This brings me neatly back to my relationship with jackie Robinson.

My dad had taken me to a game with the Reds in June of 1955 and when we got to our box seats on the first base side just past the Brooklyn dugout, who would be standing directly in front of us, leaning against the fence but Jackie with his back to the crowd.

I waited my turn and when it arrived as he signed I told him with all the courage I could muster, I hope you do today what you did last night, Jackie!

He simply shrugged his broad shoulders and responded: I hope I don’t have to do it like that again!.

I was clueless as to what he could have meant.

Let me explain what I had witnessed on TV the prior evening.

Picture this a little Puerto Rican lefty for the St. Louis Cardinals, named Luis Arroyo had pitched his team into the bottom of the 9th inning with a 4-3 lead.

Jackie took him downtown

The voice of the Dodgers, then and 58 years later still at it, Vince Scully informed us that no lefty had won a complete game in Ebbets Field in..I forget how long he said…but a considerable span of time.

The date was June 6th, a rare Monday night game.

Well with one out and the tying run on, Jackie digs in at the plate.

With two strikes, he sends a shot over the left field wall, maybe 375 feet away and wins the game for Brooklyn in the most dramatic fashion.

I am happy, the fans are jubilant and he doesn’t want to do that again?

My research discovered years later that this had all revolved around baseball politics.

I knew there was no crying in baseball but politics?

As #42  will dramatize Rickey was the one who signed Jackie and gave him a chance at fame and fortune that had been denied to members of race since Chicago White Stocking great Cap Anson told baseball in 1884 he would not play with those….

By 1955 Rickey had left Brooklyn.  Walter O’Malley owned the team and his new manager was Walter Alston.

The Rickey people had never gotten along with the O’Malley clan.

In the aforementioned incident of Jackie’s heroics, manager Alston had ordered Robinson to bunt.

I didn’t remember any of that so intense was the game at that point.

Robinson balked at having to do that.

He wanted end it there and now.

After two haphazard attempts to bunt, Jackie won the game.

Alston fined him $50.

I was not surprised that Jackie did what he did, even if it cost him money.

He had what I have called the black fire in my short monograph, entitled, A Fan’s Memoir: The Brooklyn Dodgers, 1953-57.

It was his inner rage that made him the ball players he became.

I still have a boatload of copies if anyone is interested.  Just write me @ bbprof@sbcglobal.net.

I have seen that kind of determination in only one other athlete and that was Bob Gibson.

The white bigots did everything they could to taunt, humiliate him and make him quit.

He almost suffered a nervous breakdown so great was the pressure.

Rickey had put even more pressure on Robinson when he answered his question about fighting back with the sardonic remark:

No, Jackie I want someone strong enough…NOT to fight back!

His fellow teammates both helped and hindered his historical path.

Some Southerners just could not go against their culture or their bigotry.

Rickey quietly cleaned them out.

Dodger Captain, Pee Wee Reese from the border state of Kentucky, was instrumental in getting Jackie through some of his ordeal.

He tried to keep the rookie loose.

When his life was threatened before a spring training game in Alabama, Reese suggested everyone wear #42 to confuse the assassin.

Now all major leaguers wear #42 on a given day each year.

All teams have or will have retired #42 when Mario Rivera finally retired in the Fall.

When Reese entered the HOF in 1984, they put a reference to his efforts on his plaque.

Linked together forever

Jackie Robinson hit an impressive .297 with a dozen home runs.  He was elected Major League Baseball’s first Rookie of the Year Award, which is now named after him.

The Hall of Fame in Cooperstown inducted him 1961.

Two years later he was the National League’s Most Valuable Player.

There is so much more I can write about Me and Jackie but I will let the movie provide the physical form for my many words.

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6 Comments »

  1. Prof, He, Robinson may have been the second or first, but no one can compare to what Curt Flood did for baseball Period.
    PS there was so many African Americans that played baseball before Robinson, they were called CUBANS. Please don’t take it that I’m demeaning 42 at all, he just received notoriety the same as the first women firefighter. I will watch the movie. Thanks for your story.

    Comment by Mike Ellington — April 5, 2013 @ 12:22 am

    • You touched on an area—the “Cubans” that turned black into gray. hard to tell who was what. Baseball practicality, laced with a goodly doze of Christianity eventually won the day. Bb

      ________________________________

      Comment by bbprof — April 5, 2013 @ 1:59 pm

  2. I have personally experienced the ability to perform at a higher level through channeling anger into physical effort. It’s a very powerful technique in the human behavioral toolkit. I’m not sure it’s appropriate to call it “black Fire” or black anything since it’s something we all do if we feel we’ve been singled-out or particularly put-upon and have nothing else we can do ( within the law ) about it.

    As to southern culture being “bigoted” I once believed that myself. Now I would say their culture is racist and born of greater familiarity on a more frequent basis with the “other race” than bigoted. Bigotry is born of ignorance and fear. I don’t think the racist southerners were in any way more ignorant than northerners regarding the various strengths and weaknesses of the “other race”. Nor do I think they felt any particular fear of them. They felt fear of what northerners might visit upon them through encouraging the “other race” to indulge in retribution for slavery which was more common and probably more pernicious ( no doubt those in the northern states whose ancestors held slaves probably believed and still do that there was slavery and then there was Slavery, with a big “S” for Southern ) in the former confederate states. The former confederates were in a delicate situation regarding this sort of thing as their ability to enforce law and order was strongly affected by the tolerance of their former adversaries who might or might not feel more than a little anger at what they and many of their loved-ones and friends had to endure due to the rebels attempt to tear the nation asunder. If they refused to allow their former enemies to effectively keep law and order in regard to negro attempts at retribution ( if any ) then the “southerners” were in a very dicey situation. They feared their fellow caucasians and the victors in their conflict. Certainly this was even further exacerbated by the fact that the President who sought so desperately to keep the nation whole was now dead and in no position to work to foster national unity with the former rebels.

    So anything of a fear-generated nature you would see in southerners, anything of an unreasoned bigoted or prejudiced nature, would be their continuing dislike and disdain for the “Union”. Their attitudes towards the “other race” were more a case of familiarity breeding contempt. Racist is a better term to use in regard to such attitudes as in it’s original use this was merely being certain that race does indeed matter. The more odious connotations were added later after it was somehow decided that victims of anything, if victims they be, were allowed to define any word or phrase which described any thought which was part of that which they felt, or which in-fact did, victimize them.

    Personally I believe that every attempt should be made to prevent “drift” in the meanings of words as much as possible so that we can all have meaningful conversations between generations still extant in our population. Manipulation of the language is not only useful in setting one group containing many generations against another, but is also useful in dividing generations through their inability to even effectively understand one-another. Divide and conquer is a principle which works on many levels. The avoidance of gratuitous “drift” in meanings of words is also essential so that later generations can easily understand what earlier ones meant. For instance, “well regulated” in the Bill of Rights and pertaining to the role and nature of the Militia meant to be induced when called into federal service or in such formal training as the federal government might provide to Militia to be trained so as to recognize standard military nomenclature in being given and following orders, being armed with weapons similar to those of the “regulars” ( hence “regulated” as in being made similar to the “regulars” or enlisted national military forces ) so that if called into joint service with same they could be a more effective adjunct. Some of the people crafting or arguing about what was acceptable in the document had not-so-fond recent memories of trying to effectively coordinate Militia involvement with that of their enlisted soldiers.

    But to people like “Uncle Joe” [Dhzugash]Biden or our illustrious President the term “regulate” only means the more-useful-to-them-and-their-agenda infringing legal restrictions. They feel their historical ignorance to be license to mold what they consider to be a “living document” in their crab-like claws into anything they wish it was instead of what it is.

    So please, let’s not contribute to already run-amok catechresis by substituting bigot for racist. While it may be appropriate to have sympathy for those who suffer from bigotry and for whom the truth of racism is an Inconvenient Truth, this sympathetic impulse should never be so great as to allow the victim group to literally destroy the language ( and thereby attack the culture ). In doing so in this case there is a method to the madness. This destroys our linguistic ability to even express the separate idea of a philosophy or belief that race can be demonstrated rationally to be a determinant in the outcome of any particular individual’s life without resorting for an explanation to bigotry induced discrimination or institutionalized oppression. Of course there is some bigotry induced discrimination and oppression ( and there has been against most identifiable hyphenated-American groups ) but if we are to solve problems we must be capable of looking at separate factors responsible for their creation and assessing the relative impacts on the problem of each. Confusing issues and calling one factor another does nothing to advance the creation of any solution for any problem.

    Just because philologists are able to identify a process and describe it and it’s effects does not mean we should elevate a vice to the status of a virtue.

    As to the bigoted statement referred to in the article as coming from this Anson individual, I have no doubt it was said and thought many more times. I have little familiarity with baseball and far less knowledge of bicycle racing than our learned Professor has of the history of baseball I have encountered some historical references to racism in that sport ( which at one time was popular enough to merit the station of “national pastime” ) in doing some “boning up” in the library regarding the history of cycling technology. I was researching the use of shaft-drives ( as opposed to chains ) when I became frustrated with the rapidity with which a freshly cleaned and lubricated chain became filthy. There had been a famous negro cyclist in cycling’s heyday who used a track bike with a shaft drive. Hint to anyone tempted to try to go in that direction: forget it. Shaft-drive may be more amenable to enclosure and being sealed-away from dirt but it’s far far less mechanically efficient. If you don’t like road-grit combining with your chain lub to form a cutting slurry that damages your chain and shortens it’s life, clean your chain off and soak it in melted paraffin wax! I found reference to professional cyclists refusing to race against negro riders. The typical statement was “and I’m not going to try to race a horse either”; indicating that the prevalent attitude at that time was that negroes were not really even of the same species as caucasians.

    While this is not biologically true it was based on factual observation that there were actual physical differences and physical superiority which did make the negro riders better sprinters. They have more dense muscle and bone tissue. Anyone who denies this is simply ignorant of the facts. While negroes may excel at many sports you won’t find them doing too well in swimming. Their greater body density makes it a struggle for them to just swim, an effort wasted which cannot be applied to swimming faster.

    Do I get my Jimmy-the-Greek award now or later at the door?

    So while it may have been bigoted to have the attitude that it was not fair to compete in cycling with negroes due to certain physical superiorities which are correctly correlatable to race on the basis of not competing “outside the species” it was certainly reasonable to object to being expected to compete caucasian vs negro in events such as sprint races where sheer physical strength was more important than pacing and cardio-vascular stamina. My attitude: boo hoo; try harder.

    I vote we opt for keeping the richness of our language with its many words giving greater numbers of meaningful distinction of thoughts not possible in other less-rich languages. We generally rejected the metric system even though it was more logical and perhaps that was a mistake which put us years behind in international trading advantage; but I think we were quite right not to all rush headlong into converting our national language form English to Esparanto.

    Thanks as always for a thought-provoking ‘blog entry Professor! I learned a fact or two and I’m sure some self-appointed “experts” in “black history” might have learned something as well. There’s nothing wrong with learning something new once-in-awhile as long as “learning something new” contributes to a better ability to understand and discern rather than a limiting of the ability to even express ideas effectively and with greater definition ( as in the fineness of rendering ).

    For an example of this problem I would refer one-and-all to a you tube video where the team leader of the Bell Labs effort to bring forth the unijunction transistor, William Shockley, debates Frances Wellsing during an episode of the Tony Brown Journal.

    It’s so heartbreaking to see poor old Shockley casting about to invent a new word ( raceolgy? Please! This is the original meaning of the terms racist/racism and the meaning-twisters were already well-advanced in their campaign to deny us even a word to describe anything regarding how the caucasians might view the negroes other than words meaning bigotry even in 1974 ) to use in place of racism since he knew that term had been modified from one meaning a well-reasoned outlook on the issue of race into an epithet to be hurled by people who were quite obviously ignorance-based bigots themselves. Seriously; access that video online and watch Wellsing expound on phylogeny and the importance of melanin. We can all use a good laugh from time to time even if it is at the expense of some poor self-deluded sanctimonious fool.

    How hilarious to see this woman confuse a genetic predisposition to produce less melanin with the condition of albinism which is the complete inability to produce melanin. Both caucasian and negro individuals are born with the genetic defect commonly known as “albinism”—in biology more commonly referred to as “amelanistic”. Since in humans mealnin is the dominant skin pigment amelanistic humans are also albinos. In some other creatures which have carotenoids creating other colors there are conditions such as that of being “axanthic”, or with the absence of the usual yellow pigmentation.

    Caucasians can produce melanin as condistions warrant but without proper stimulus ( sunlight ) do not produce it in sufficient quantities to damage their ability to produce much-needed D vitamins in lower light conditions. Negroes, as obligate malanin producers, are genetically limited to a narrower range of environmental exploitable biotopes and geographical areas. That’s a weakness, not a strength. I have personally been mistaken for a negro at a distance when I was working as a house-painter and exposed not only to direct sunlight but constantly to that reflected back off the (usually ) light-colored homes upon which I was working. A racist approached my boss and I while we were doing a little rainy-day fishing because he thought we were negroes and he didn’t want any negroes fishing in the pond in his ( at that time ) exclusively caucasian neighborhood. He couldn’t tell we were caucasian from our skin-pigmentation but only when he’d waddled up close enough to see our euro-peon facial features and to engage us in conversation containing no substitutions of the word axe for the word ask. We are nominate producers of melanin, not amelanisitic as suggested by Welsing. She and her kind are obligate producers of melanin meaning that in our natural states they are less able to effectively exploit northern latitudes as habitat.

    It was interesting to hear Shockley recommend that everyone be offered a bonus to refrain from reproducing and to then hear Brown almost immediately demand of Shockley to know whether he was proposing that this bonsus be exclusively directed at negroes. Shockley had just stated otherwise and Brown’s inability to control his emotional impulses prevented him from being able to hear other than what he presumed he would hear. Who was exhibiting prejudice in that instance?

    Welsing’s statement on a supposed principle in biology generalizing that the greater the organism’s ability to produce pigments the higher it’s ranking on the evolutionary scale:

    was particularly asinine. By her reckoning animals which produce melanin and additionally red blue or yellow pigments are superior. So she believes snakes superior to all humans? Snakes are more “highly evolved”?

    This is the sort of thing we get when we allow those who consider themselves as victims to redefine terms in our language at will in any way they feel may be advantageous to them.

    This is also a good demonstration of why you should never pit a psychologist or psychiatrist against a physicist in a matter involving any degree of scientific rigor. While amusing ( since nobody was getting physically obliterated, though Welsing was constantly harping on the supposed ability of negroes to obliterate caucasians ) it was a guilty enjoyment as in being amused by the bloody spectacle of bone-headed amerind archers attempt to effectively engage highly-trained infantry using modern self-loading centerfire cartridge-firing main battle rifles in military conflict. It’s not an effective tactic in debate to refer disparagingly to the adversary’s charts and diagrams when you have brought no such materials to make your thoughts more clear to those observing this debacle.

    But we can clearly see the difficulty which catachresis causes in even conducting a meaningful debate from this . It was from 1974 and by that time, according to Shockley, racism was “defined” as a feeling of superiority and hate. In the very common garden variety dictionary I have from 1966 ( Webster’s 7th Collegiate ) it was defined as a view that race is a or the predominant determinant in the outcome of any individual’s life. That is, by dint of being an earlier source, closer to the original meaning. In my 5th edition published in 1934 ( a far more voluminous tome ) the words racism and racist do not even appear. I have no doubt the definition recited by Shockley in 1974 was accurate as per the latest editions of dictionaries at that time. In 1966 the term hate was not included even in any inferior higher-numbered word-usage.

    How pathetic to listen to Welsing pontificate upon the performance of the caucasian woman vs that of the caucasian male rather than comparing the negro woman’s performance to that of the caucasian woman. People such as Welsing depend utterly on how things are parsed whether it be words or groups of people. More recently this has been extended into the realm of how geological time-periods are parsed, as is the case with the human-caused-climate-change pseudo-scientific community of the ilk of former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore.

    Quite clearly Welsing, with all her obligate “ability” to produce melanin, was not possessed of the capability to design a valid experiment with logical testing of a causal relationship being proposed nor of employing effective controls or reasonable analysis of results. Her bringing of “black fire” to that endeavor was like using real fire to produce an opening for a door in the side of your home. You might succeed but I think yor homeowner’s insurance would prefer you use a saw.

    It’s just unfortunate that the issue of “black Fire” does not militate for superior performance in intellectual endeavors such as a debate as it does for matters of pure brute strength or manual skill. If only Colin Ferguson’s “black rage” could have worked effectively to use intellectual methods to discourage those in his own sub-culture from doubling our national crime instead of the purely athletic endeavor of slaughtering a known-un-armed population of victims by shooting commuters on a common-carrier–how much better-off we’d all be.

    It was quite clear from Welsing’s body-language and other nonverbal cues she was not avoiding the influence of her “black fire” during her debate with Shockley while his body language and non-verbal cues revealed a well-implemented suppression of any passionate emotional “fire” he might have been harboring. It was a pathetic display of outmatched inability vs. confident well-intentioned intellectual diligence and I would feel very guilty at my great amusement at this spectacle were it not for the great sense of triumph revealed in the non-verbal cues displayed by Welsing when speaking of the ability of non-caucasians to annihilate that race.

    James Stenzel
    Missouri
    U.S.A.

    Comment by James Stenzel — April 5, 2013 @ 3:12 am

    • Jim:

      Wow! You should have your own blog if you don’t already. Your opinion is three times the length of my post. Straight to the point, I do not like neologisms that are invented by the social engineering elites in this country and around the world. I am talking about words, such as racism, anti-Semitism and homophobia. All of them are new words that have been constructed to elevate the historical positions of a once-abused minority. In essence each one…in my opinion…is meaningless and niot worthy of use. Sure rthe South had instituted its racial prejudices…but only because it was socio-economic system, upon which their civilization was based…much like the serfdom situation in 15th century England.

      The black slaves who were forcibly imported to the Americas were chosen, primarily for their ability to withstand the extreme Southern heat. Racial indifference was at the core. The bigotry only started because of moral rationalizations and social stratifications among the 90% of the South’s population that did not own slaves. This raises the question as to why that most of those who shed their blood for the Confederacy had no direct relationship other than their marginal social superiority with the slave population. That died for, not maintaining slavery per se but for the freedom to do what they wanted under the aegis of Southern Civilization and the code of the South that was roughly analogous to Medieval Europe. nest the Bible Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe was the most popular book of the ante-bellum period.

      As for “black fire<" I doubt if you ever experienced it. I think it came with Jackie's case from the rage that he stored when Rickey would not let him fight back in his way..by playing hard, by winning and showing America that he was equal or even more equal than the white players. It is a form of aggressiveness, fueled by rage and within the limits of the law perfectly understandably.

      Comment by bbprof — April 9, 2013 @ 7:40 pm

  3. Apologies for the fact the URLs I copied and pasted from the location bar of my browser during the segment when Welsing expounds upon her melanin-correlated phylogenesis theories just turned out to be the general undifferentiated URL for the playlist of all the segments. But with patient forbearance one may hear what she has to say on this subject. I find it interesting that she prefaces her nonsense by disavowing any responsibility for her lunatic interpretation of valid scientific work prior to mangling these facts. One inconvenient truth to Welsing and those of her ilk is that when left to themselves with little or no contact at all with other races caucasian quality-of-life and technological prowess will be found to be superior and preferable to those of other racial groups. You don’t find a whole lot of caucasians fleeing our get-’em-off-generational-welfare-rolls-okay-but-then-you-have-to-rig-the-lending-industry-so-they-can-all-buy-a-house-triggered national economic to go to places like Zimbabwe… Why do that when soon we will be living in New Zimbabwe? It’s so amusing to listen to Welsing ask the leading question “who is keeping ‘blacks’ in deprivation” when if she were even capable of listening her antagonist has already answered that question and she missed it—-they are.

    When you have to answer a point n a debate X factor is “PROBABLY SOMETHING” you have just lost the debate.

    I would have loved to have heard Welsing debating Meir Kahane on the subject she brings up of the “semites” supposedly coming to europe from africa. Perhaps later she would have been treated to some of that Kahane-fire for which he became so infamous…

    Hopefully I will be forgiven for exhibiting some of my [Jimmy the ] Greek Fire during my lengthy rant—and for my ignorance regarding how you tube URLs display in the performance of one segment of a “playlist”—sorry!

    James Stenzel
    Missouri
    U.S.A.

    Comment by James Stenzel — April 5, 2013 @ 9:53 am

  4. Mr. Stenzel. That was the most cogent explanation of why JR was successful in baseball.Thanks for the lesson.

    Comment by Mike Ellington — April 8, 2013 @ 12:05 pm


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About author

After graduating from Holy Cross, Bill Borst earned an MA in Asian History from St. John's University and a Ph.D in American History from St. Louis University. (1972) A former New Yorker, he taught for many years in the St. Louis area, while also hosting a weekly radio show on WGNU from 1984-2006. He currently is a regular substitute for conservative Phyllis Schlafly on KSIV radio. (1320) He is the author of two books on social history, "Liberalism: Fatal Consequences," and "The Scorpion and the Frog: A Natural Conspiracy." He just retired as the Features editor of the Mindszenty Foundation Monthly Report. In his 11 years from 2003-2013 he wrote nearly 130 essays on Catholic culture and world affairs. Many in St. Louis also know him as the "Baseball Professor," because of a course that he offered at Maryville College from 1973-74. It was arguably the first fully-accredited baseball history course in the Midwest.The author of several short books on the old St. Louis Browns, he started the St. Louis Browns Historical Society in 1984. In 2009 his first two plays were produced on the local stage. "The Last Memory of an Ol' Brownie Fan," ran six performances at the Sound Stage in Crestwood and "A Perfect Choice" ran for two performances at the Rigali Center Theater in Shrewsberry. His third play, "A Moment of Grace," ran six performances at DeSmet High School in January of 2011with First Run Theater in January of 2011. He is currently working on a 4th play, "A Family Way," which is a comedy about a happy dysfunctional family. He can reached at bbprof@sbcglobal.net

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