The fog filled the air like a bullet in a chamber. Smoke, heat, sweat, rising and weaving together covering every square inch of the building from the entrance to the urinals. The lights above barely cut through the thickness, dense and heavy resting on the top of his shoulders which were turned towards the grey crowd in his corner as the faces of wild men watched and spoke and yelled, dirty, filthy people. Faces of hyenas surrounding. He closed his eyes and the darkness of his eyelids somehow seemed brighter than the room. He hoped God was listening, though it was last minute. Lord, forgive the sins. Forgive the ugliness. “Forgive me for calling you down into this room and having you bear witness to what us desperate men do.” The crowd roared, lions now. “Control the fear.” that still lingered over his body like black magic on a doll. The bell sounded, he inched forward as his heart shook his body with each beat. He looked down the barrel of his gloves and cut the ring off making his way across, slowly, gently, aggressive. The man in front of him did not take ownership of his body, it was the fear that triggered his fists, it was fear that made him want to win, as long as it was controlled like a fire stoking in the woods, he would effectively rid of the other man’s strengths, scorched earth policy.
MLB blogged this! Hahaha yes!!
Forgot to wish Thunder Gatti a Happy Birthday so I’ll do it right now. Happy Birthday, Champ. Rest in peace.
Westminster Hall and Burying Ground
Baltimore, MD // 04.13.14
One of the myths of the game is that Robinson was chosen by Rickey because of his forbearance, his ability to absorb slurs without hitting back.
To anyone who knew him, the notion of Jackie Robinson turning the other cheek, putting up with insults, was laughable. I have never been able to find one veteran chronicler of the early Robinson days who remembers Jackie being anything but truculent and unbending in the face of slurs and insults.
Jackie made sure you treated him as a man. He didn’t suffer fools gladly. … He was as deeply suspicious of the flatterers as he was the bigots.
Jackie wore no man’s collar. Ever. Long before Rosa Parks, he had refused to move to the back of the bus—in the Army. He was court-martialed. He was acquitted.
I remember once, in a kind of confidential exchange I had with him, I was brash enough to suggest incautiously, “But, Jackie, on the whole, wasn’t there less bigotry and intolerance out there than you expected?”
Jackie fixed me with a glare.
"There shouldn’t have been any,” he said sternly.
You never argued with Jackie Robinson. He made America live up to its promises. [x]
This is extremely important. This image and idea of Jackie never fighting back, always just sitting still and staying quiet is ridiculous. It’s almost as if those who speak of Jackie in that way are hoping for others to do what they say what Jackie did: do not rebel, do not talk back, do as your told. Jackie was not a man who sat idle, he was a man of dignity and heart, and he roared in the face of injustice in his own way.