That’s what The Graduate from UCLA heard from Baseball’s Color Barrier 61 years ago today, and the Sport is Dustin’ off the memories (which should last longer than Plastics) with today’s “Jackie Robinson Day” (celebrating a trend that even trojans wouldn’t Buck)
Some things transcend the Hatred of The Rivalry. The last couple of days, we have observed a ceasefire of sorts, suppressing the temptation to crack mean USC Cheerleader jokes, out of respect for the victims helped by the Swim with Mike Charity. We have been sharing photos of bikini-clad USC Song Girls, with complimentary captions — today included — because the Song Girls were considerate and caring enough to strip down to little string bikinis and let a bunch of testosterone-addled oglers click off photos with glee, all in the name of raising money for serious accident victims who can no longer ambulate without technological aid. Lampooning a cause like that just because it is affiliated with Southern Cal is NOT what we are about.
Similarly, even the Bruin-hating Trojans would have a hard time denigrating the legacy of the Great Bruin Star Jackie Robinson. To do so should – and might actually be – considered a Hate Crime. Of course ALL Bruins are proud of what UCLA’s only 4-Sport Letterman in History did for the History of this Country. It is comforting to know that UCLA’s most famous Sports Figure of All Time is someone so universally respected (except maybe by brownshirted, skinheaded Neo-Nazis and hooded and cowardly KKKer’s), while the Trojans are stuck with O.J. Simpson.
Robinson’s jersey #42 has been unprecedentally retired by EVERY Team in Major League Baseball, but in honor of today’s Nationwide Jackie Robinson Day observance, many players, including the Angels’ Garret Anderson, are scheduled to bring the #42 jersey out of retirement and wear it in tribute.
Since it all went down 61 years ago, if you perhaps have Parents or Grandparents in their 70′s, they could probably tell you detailed personal stories, about how a Bruin changed the World. When Jackie first played in the Majors, you could imagine that everyone in the Country heard about it, and was ultimately effected in a profound way. The Trial of the Century also effected the whole Nation profoundly, also in a Racially-charged way, but in the long run, Jackie’s was the Uniter, and O.J. was the Divider.
Below are 7 more photos from Saturday’s fundraiser, the last 6 featuring the USC Song Girls at their best.