Jackie Robinson had a big impact in the world of sports. Robinson broke the color line barrier in major league baseball, becoming the first African American player in the big leagues when he signed a contract and joined the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947.
However, Robinson was more than just a great baseball player. His legacy includes his work as a writer too. The book “Beyond Home Plate” (Syracuse University Press, $29.95), written by Michael G. Long, highlights Robinson’s journalistic skills following his playing days with the Dodgers. The book has compiled some of Robinson’s columns in the New York Post and the New York Amsterdam News.
The Hall of Famer wrote syndicated newspaper columns on a number of topics such as sports, politics, civil rights and many community issues. Long has compiled some of his great columns into one read.
“This was definitely one of my favorite projects so far, primarily because you hear Jackie Robinson in his own voice,” said Long, who is the editor of several books on politics, religion and civil rights. “The columns showed that Robinson was an American prophet. He consistently stood for those on the margin who could not speak for themselves in public. Robinson was their voice.”
Robinson had a chance to express his views in two of New York City’s biggest newspapers. The New York Post is one of the city’s largest daily newspapers. The New York Amsterdam News is one of the oldest Black newspapers in the country.
In the book, Robinson wrote about Charles Sifford, the first Black golfer to play for the PGA. In 1961, Sifford became the first African-American to earn a PGA card. He wrote about him in the Post. In the piece, he talked about the singer Billy Eckstine, who was also a terrific golfer and a good friend of Sifford.
Sifford and Robinson are both pioneers in their sports. This book is a great read with a number of interesting columns.