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I'm a big baseball fan but haven't seen 42 yet, and have no aching need to. I've been burned by the last few sports docudramas I've seen -- namely The Express (about Ernie Davis) and The Mighty Macs (the champion Immaculata College women's basketball team of the 1970s) -- which I found undramatic and cliched. Robinson's entire life, particularly his political activism after he retired from baseball, would make an interesting subject for an original filmmaker, but I gather that 42 was a paint-by-numbers job.


It was The Natural only true. If you think about it, Hobbs wasn't playing to win, he was playing to show them he could win.

Easily the best baseball film simply because it marries mythology with reality.


There are some other things missing I'd hoped to see.

A flashback to the young Branch Rickey as a college baseball coach comforting one of his players who'd been humiliated in public because he was black.

A scene in Montreal of Robinson chased down a street by a crowd of white people Robinson assumed were after him for the same reason a crowd of whites might have come after him in the U.S. but who turned out to be clamoring for his autograph.

Of course this is what you wanted to see. White people always, always, always want to be seen at their very best. They never want to confront the harm and hurt they cause.

If these moments are left out of the film it's because the miniscule moments of anecdotal and fictional white kindness are not enough to make up for everything else they put Robinson through. I try to imagine some white person, even today, trying to make up for some racial slight and my imagination simply fails me.

Black people, every day, even today, are always playing to "show them"...mainly that we're human. We're playing this game for heaven and the future's sakes. We're fighting for our survival against a people who clamor for our perpetual subservience at best and our extinction at worst.

I honestly don't give a damn about what you wanted to see. You should take a closer look at what is there and what it truly means. You're not there yet. Black, white or zebra striped, eh? You really believe that no one cared about his color as long as he helped them win?


Howard Diamond

I was an ardent Dodger fan in 1947, aged 15. IN June 1951 I was driving my mom to Calif. to see her siblings. In St. Louis I heard on the radio the Bums were playing the Cardinals that night. My mom said we could see the game so I bought box seats over 3d base. Jackie singled, stole second base and moved to third base. Then he threatens to steal home, and I'm going crazy, me along with my Pavilion compatriots in right field. Sportsman Park was segregated so that's where the blacks sat, in an uncovered section. I played football in Prospect Park's parade grounds, for a black coach and Irish, Italian and black team mates. What could a Jewish boy know about such things growing up in Brooklyn? My neighbors around 3d base gave me dirty looks. I was in 7th heaven! We won the game 6-2 with Stan the Man homering in the bottom of the 9th. Preacher Rowe won. Jackie was a thrill to watch and a gentleman to boot. My only criticism when I learned he was a Nixon fan.

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