Thursday, January 22, 2009

History and Baseball

I've read and heard people say that they didn't consider the recent inauguration of President Barack Obama that significant. They felt he had not achieved anything.

As a 54 year-old man, I can recall a handful of seminal events, including the Kennedy assassination in 1963, the blackout of 1965 (I was playing electronic football), the lunar landing of 1969, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the Challenger explosion, 9/11, and the Obama inauguration. That doesn't discount the many others including the Bay of Pigs, Arab-Israeli and Vietnam Wars, Iran hostage crisis and so forth. We're not counting the Red Sox' painful World Series defeats and redemption and of course the Patriots winning the Super Bowl.

My wife was at the hairdressers and struck up a conversation with a woman whose husband played baseball in the fifties and early sixties, for the Red Sox. She generously shared her stories with my wife. Southern road trips meant African-American players (not that the Red Sox had many) had to stay in separate hotels. They often ate their meals on the bus, while white players ate in the segregated restaurants. Monbouquette apparently often ate on the bus with them.

Yes, times have changed, and they have done so in many of our lifetimes. By no means has the concept of all men (and women) are created equal been fulfilled, but we are getting closer. Which is why we should recognize history when we see it.

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