Monday, April 16, 2007

You're going to be seeing the number 42 all over the place this week. Forty two. That's the number associated with the first black man ever to...

Be president of the United States.

You thought maybe I was referring to Jackie Robinson? Silly you. Yes, that was Jackie Robinson's number. And yes, they are celebrating the 60th anniversary of Jackie breaking into major league baseball.

And Bill Clinton, our " First black president, " was our 42nd president.

What a coincidence, huh?

Significant in the large scheme of things? No. Coincidences are everywhere. You just need to keep your eyes open. I could go on and on with coincidences concerning Bill Clinton and Jackie Robinson. How, for instance, Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and how Clinton was branded a " draft dodger. " But I won't go on and on.

They say baseball is a game of inches. Statisticians like Bill James reign. Numbers are everywhere. Ted Williams hit .406. Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs. Maris, 61. Sixty feet six inches. Three outs.

42? It's just aother number. Or would be, if the great Jackie Robinson hadn't worn it on his back. Then again, it wasn't what he wore on his back that was most important; it was what he carried on his shoulders. That weight. No number would do it justice.

1 comment:

Fred said...

Being born in 1949 in Cleveland there are few memories. Except my trusty Davey Crockett long rifle, my red bike and Daddy Joe the ice cream man. Just kidding there is alot more. One of them is the day my family got a 13" black and white TV about 1957. Now I'm 8 and Dad called a family Sunday spagetti dinner for all the family including Aunt's, Uncle's and Grandpa. We all went to church and then went home to watch The Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox on one of the first TV broadcasts of baseball in Cleveland. Now to the heart of the story. During the game I couldn't understand why my uncle's and dad were calling Larry Doby so many names that I would get my mouth washed out with soap. Now I understand and am so glad the 60's came around. Jackie Robinson and Larry Doby opened baseball and really the rest of the world but there is still much to do. Future Generations will prove that out.