Tuesday, April 15, 2014

EXTRA: Who won’t Pat Quinn pay tribute to? Remembering a 67-yr-old Opening Day, and who made it unique

I’m used to the idea of political people finding off-beat things to pay tribute to – reflecting in the glory of others.

But Gov. Pat Quinn trying to gain himself some attention off the memory of Jackie Robinson? That’s a stretch!

BUT IS what Quinn chose to do on Tuesday – which is the 67th anniversary of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Opening Day in which Robinson made his appearance in the line-up as the first openly-black ballplayer in the U.S. major leagues in modern times.

“Jackie believed that ‘life is not a spectator support,’ and he lived his life with that in mind,” Quinn said, in his prepared statement. “He broke the color barrier in the major leagues, became the first black (Most Valuable Player) and took his team to the World Series” six times in 10 seasons as a ballplayer.

“At the same time, he fought for black athletes and Americans of all colors and creeds to be treated equally,” said Quinn. “This is why his number was retired by (Major League Baseball) and why he received two of our nation’s highest honors – the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.”

Impressive, in its own way, and worthy of honors. Although I'm not sure how much is added to the Robinson legacy by having Quinn try to attach himself to it. Or how ridiculous the governor comes across for doing so.

Check out the pants number
ALTHOUGH I SUPPOSE things could be more ridiculous -- particularly if Quinn were trying to give such glory to the athletic legacy of one of our city's ballplayers. Who would he pick? Carmen Fanzone? Harry Chappas?

Or did you think that “42” that the Chicago White Sox have posted along with their other retired player numbers was meant to honor the memory of Ron Kittle?


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