It’s a silly thing, being proud of the day you were born. Maybe if you were Calvin Coolidge: A U.S. President who was actually born on the same day (July 4) as the country you lead. You can say it was your destiny, I suppose.
In a way, I think it’s fair for me to say that it was my destiny to be a baseball fan. That sounds a bit ridiculous, I’ll admit, but in a way I feel like my birthday – April 15 – was the day that baseball was really born. Baseball the way we understand it and play it today. Because it was April 15, 1947 when the Brooklyn Dodgers played the Boston Braves in Ebbets Field and batting second for the Dodgers was first baseman Jackie Robinson.
Yes, I’m proud to share a birthday with modern baseball. With a Major League Baseball that incorporates people from around the world. People of all colors. Because as much as people want to rave about Babe Ruth or Ty Cobb or any player before 1947 being the best ever, the truth stands that they did not compete on an even playing field with the best players in the world.
Jackie Robinson was a very special player and a very special human being, and I’m proud to be tied – even in such an indirect way – to what he accomplished.
Happy Jackie Robinson Day, everybody.