A Turning Point For America

Today marks the 66th anniversary of the day Branch Rickey met with Jackie Robinson to talk about breaking the color barrier in the major leagues.

America in 1945 was much different than it is today.  Despite waging a brutal war against Nazi Germany, who subjugated and annihilated a complete class of people because of their race and religion, America treated it’s black citizens in much the same way.    This moral contradiction between what America said it stood for and the way it was actually organized was most clearly articulated at the time by the eminent sociologist Gunnar Myrdal in An American Dilemma, published in 1944. The thesis of his book was that a terrible tension existed in American society between our professed ideals of equality and fairness based on individual merit and the reality of harsh, suffocating exclusion and oppression based on skin color.

Branch Rickey was the president of the Brooklyn Dodgers and began his quest for integration in 1943.  He confided his plan to George V. MacLaughlin, his banker, the president of the Brooklyn Trust Company, which essentially held a mortgage on the team.  MacLaughlin supported the idea, although not without some anxiety. He told Rickey that for this bold plan to work, he would have to find a black player who was better than the other players.

Rickey, who said “Luck is the residue of design”, was a master strategist whose ultimate goal was to win baseball games and to increase the fan base.  He began an extensive search for the right man.  By mid-1945, Rickey had narrowed his search and begun to focus on Robinson. He thought the young man was talented enough as an athlete and liked the fact that Robinson was educated and abstained from alcohol. Robinson’s temperament both attracted and worried Rickey. His refusal to buckle under to discrimination and strength of character were exactly what Rickey wanted. But Robinson’s explosive aggressiveness concerned Rickey: while it fueled his athletic performance, it also made him vulnerable to being provoked by the intense racism he was sure to experience as the first black to play in the major leagues. Rickey strongly believed that it would be necessary for Robinson to contain himself if the experiment was to succeed.

On August 28, 1945, at Dodgers headquarters at 215 Montague Place in Brooklyn, Rickey met with Robinson for the first time.

“For three hours, Rickey harangued Robinson … graphically illustrating the difficulties Robinson might face. He portrayed the hostile teammate, the abusive opponent, the insulting fan, the obstinate hotel clerk.  Rickey challenged the black man with racial epithets and verbally transplanted him into ugly confrontations. “His acting was so convincing that I found myself chain-gripping my fingers behind my back,” wrote Robinson.”  “In the face of this onslaught Robinson finally responded, “Mr. Rickey,  do you want a ballplayer who’s afraid to fight back?” [Rickey] had awaited this moment. “I want a player with guts enough not to fight back,” he roared.”

Jackie Robinson Meets Branch Rickey

Jackie Robinson Signs Contract With Branch Rickey Looking On

As we all know now, the arrival of Jackie Robinson on the Dodgers changed not only the baseball world, but also America itself.

This Day in Dodgers History

August 28, 1945 – A moment in American history takes place in Brooklyn as Branch Rickey meets with Jackie Robinson to share his plans to integrate the major leagues. During the three hour meeting, the Dodgers’ president will shout racial epithets to ‘test’ the 26-year old ballplayer’s mettle to withstand the abuse which will come with being the first player to cross the color line this century.

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120 Responses to A Turning Point For America

  1. Nellyjune says:

    Awesome, Awesome thread 32and53fan!!! Every January, when we study Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., my class is also exposed to who Jackie Robinson was (along with Branch Rickey and Peewee Reese) and how he and MLK had a direct affect on our society today. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge, along with the others who have contributed. It truly is great to read all this history and stories about the Dodgers. It’s these things that make us stick with the Dodgers through the toughest of times.

  2. vl4eccjr says:

    I’m still fuming from my last rant on the previous thread.
    Ned is the absolute lowest life form on the planet at this point & time!

  3. dodgereric says:

    The contrast between the great Jackie Robinson and the Idiot Scumbag Colletti could not be more striking.

    The latest one……….

    “I’ve just read TJ Simers’ article Saturday. You know, the one where Andre Ethier claims the Dodgers are playing him despite injuries. Then Ned Colletti insinuates that Ethier is faking the injuries. I saw Ethier wincing in pain as he pulled into third base Friday night, overrun it slightly and then flex his right knee as he headed back. Play the tape and you’ll see it too. I did, thanks to the DVR. I have no doubt that he’s hurt.

    I’m looking forward to the next few days as Colletti tries to spin his way out of this one. It promises to be very inventive, spinning the truth is the one thing he does well.

    I think it’s obvious that he intends to use Ethier’s failing numbers to increase his chances of winning his upcoming arbitration battle in the off season. Colletti has had a free pass from any responsibility of the Dodgers record. The media has hung a “poor Ned” label on him because of the horrendous owner we have. He certainly has never blamed himself. TJ has started it. More sportswriters need to join in.

    Someone with some integrity needs to kick this guy to the curb, but I doubt that you can find anyone in the Dodger front office that would qualify.”

    • vl4eccjr says:

      I don’t think it’s possible for Ned to ‘spin’ his way out of these
      Underhanded despicable antics! Shit like this is probably having deceased former Dodger greats rolling over in their graves!!!
      I’m too pissed to sleep! I’m just glad I don’t have to work tomorrow. Or should I say later today! Evidently this short vacation I planned was timed well.

  4. Nellyjune says:

    Ned is messing with the wrong group of fans. It’s was hard enough watching what he did to Matt last season, but now he is messing with a player who not only has busted his ass on the field for the Dodgers, Andre has done so much for this organization off the field as well. Dodgereric’s right. It will be interesting to see how Ned spins this to his advantage. He will try his best to make the negative attention turn away from him and Frank and make Andre the villain. Ned will try to turn the fans against Andre, which some already have because they assumed he didn’t want to play for the Dodgers anymore. Now, after this story, who could blame him for not wanting to. How can you work for somebody who has pretty much told you you are a liar? Andre shouldn’t and he won’t. He may have had his struggles this season as a ballplayer, but it’s his integrity and his intensity that his fans love about him. Ned has questioned both, and the Ethieraholics are pissed!

  5. trublu4ever says:

    This Ethieraholic is pissed beyond belief! I’m so f*cking tired of Colletti getting away with all the shit he piles on us. If I were a player, I’d want the first plane out of this asylum. I have been a Dodger fan for so many years and, have not, until now, been so disgusted with this franchise. I’ve been through seasons with really dreadul teams but, never really complained because they were my team and I loved them no matter what. Now, however, with Frank and even more disgusting, Ned, in charge I have lost all respect for the front office of this once beloved franchise.

  6. trublu4ever says:

    I’m sorry, 32&53fan, I was so pissed I forgot to mention what a fantastic thread this is!

    • 32and53fan says:

      I was going to write this thread about Colletti before I found out it was the anniversary of Robinson meeting Branch Rickey.

      If the article written by Simers is accurate, Colletti should be fired immediately. It is outrageous that a GM would allow a player to play hurt in the hope that it will benefit the team financially in the offseason. Ned’s quote: ‘Ask Colletti if Ethier’s poor performance works to the Dodgers’ advantage, and he says, “Maybe a touch” ‘

      We need to take up a collection to pay for his ticket to Chicago.

  7. trublu4ever says:

    It will be interesting to see if they discuss this issue on Dodgers Live.

  8. grizzy says:

    I still do not get this. Why would you let this into the media? He must already see Ethier as down the road. Sitting here in a small Utah town, I have no idea what is going on behind the scenes in LA, but I suspect we”ll have Colletti as long as we have McCourt.

  9. DodgerZona says:

    Hello,

    Ned’s an idiot….I hope this loser is history soon

    Same with McBroke

    You all have a wonderful day

  10. lbirken says:

    My L.A. Times was late this morning so I did not see Simer’s article until reading posts here and on ITD. I was a bit surprised but then I read the article and I am still puzzled. I usually read Simers with an open mind, knowing full well his goal is to get a rise out of his subjects. I know he is not an investigative reporter and he looks for the angle others will not. He doesn’t care what anyone thinks about him and the more his subjject reacts to him, the harder Simers is on thatsubject. So this story about Ethier playing hurt and the Dodgers knowing all of this baffles me because while some have suspected something is wrong with Andre, nothing has been said until now. Andre suggests this problem is not new and the Dodgers know all about it. He now tells us about treatments and yet did anyone every say anything until now about this? We also all know the Dodgers (and other teams) routinely put players on the DL. Are the Dodgers treating Andre differently? I have no doubt there is a lot more to this story than what we know. I am also not too surprised Andre never made an issue out of this. It is just not his style but you would expect others in the media to pick up on this. I agree that Ned coudl have been a lot more careful about his comments. Andre, I wish you well. Even those who have been critical of Andre’s performance this season should know he gives it his best just as I believe most players do.

  11. JhallWally says:

    Good Morning/Afternoon Outsiders. I see that the after yesterdays exciting comeback win that solid excrement hit the spinning blade device. Wow!!! Just when things started looking as good as they have this entire season. Vin announces he is coming back, we’re hitting the ball and scoring some runs, G’Aints are losing and the D’Backs are ahead of them. It sounds like the perfect storm. A disgruntled slumping player. A slimeball reporter. An imcompetent sycophant GM that will say anything to deflect the attention from the incredibly bad job he has done, and a medical/training staff with a rotten track record.

    The biggest issue I have with the whole situation is with Ned Colletti basically throwing a player under the bus to try and make himself look less culpable for the mess he has made of this lineup and team. It comes as no surprise. He’s done it before. He’s an ass kissing liar that will do and say whatever to cover his own stench.

    The one conclusion that is easy to draw is that Ethier is injured and has been playing at less than 100%. That would explain his drastic hitting woes and power outage. It has been obvious for awhile that something either physically, mentally, or emotionally was/is wrong with Andre. I can see him trying to gut it out and keep playing for his teammates but, at this juncture, it makes no sense. Your not doing yourself or the team any favors. Shut it down, get the surgery, and wait to see where you’ve been traded too.

    I also have a bit of an issue with DilDon if he knows that Ethier is injured and he keeps putting him in the lineup just to make Ned happy.

    It is painfully obvious now that we do not know the true extent of the dysfunction of this ownership and management. I am sure alot more will come out and be written on this latest bumbling Dodger event. However, it is becoming more and more difficult to remain loyal to a team that has become anything but the team I grew up admiring and supporting.

  12. messagebear says:

    If not for Simers, the story about Andre’s situation would never be out. I’m glad for the possible explanation. I too have been mystified about Andre’s season and even had the urge lately to wonder what happens if Loney actually passes Andre with his BA and possibly even HR’s. One wouldn’t expect a team’s front office to malign one of its key players, but then again this is the Dodgers 2011 and Ned in the forefront. One could almost forgive a player getting fed up with Frank and Ned and just playing out the season, but Andre has always shown more character than that. If I have to give somebody the benefit of the doubt, I will go with Andre.

    I wouldn’t blame the franchise if they had a plan and decided that Andre was not in their future. If there was a plan, you would think they would have made some decent trade before the July deadline and at least wound up with a couple of decent prospects for Andre. As has been more typical with Ned, we’ll undoubtedly lose Andre at some point soon and have nothing or next to nothing to show for it. Way to go, front office – stick another one up the fans’ collective ass.

  13. JhallWally says:

    By the way 32, nice post and thanks for creating this blog site. Good job!!!!

  14. trublu4ever says:

    I have absolutely NO respect for Colletti! I am still fuming….what kind of person throws players he has signed under the bus?! F*ck you Ned!

  15. trublu4ever says:

    Okay…Dodgers Live did talk about Dre and, I’m just as confused now as I was before. He is not in lineup today…having knee checked out by doctor.

  16. Interesting comments made on Dodgers Live. Can’t say I blame Mattingly for being a bit upset, but I do find it incriminating that Colletti wasn’t asked to defend his position. Somebody knows something, but they’re not talking. But the bottom line is that Andre is getting his knee checked out by a real MD and hopefully he’ll be okay without surgery. DodgerEric wasn’t the only one who noticed that Dre was having problems. Karros mentioned it during yesterday’s game, too.

  17. trublu4ever says:

    Nate not looking great!

  18. trublu4ever says:

    Dre would have caught that ball!!!!!

  19. trublu4ever says:

    A feaking high 5!!! WTF!!!!

  20. Nellyjune says:

    Don’t you find it interesting that when Andre had an issue with his toe in Colorado, he went to their medical staff and not his own because the toe had to be bothering him before the team landed in Denver. Now, he is going to see a real MD instead of dealing with his own when it comes to his knee. He doesn’t seem to trust Stan and his staff. I am sure Ned just got added to his list of people not to trust (if not already).

  21. JhallWally says:

    Wow!! What a bummer. They really didn’t hit the ball hard. A lot of little flairs and bleeders. A lot of bad Karma courtesy of Ned.

  22. I’ll be the first to admit that I criticized Ethier for not performing up to his typical level, unbeknownst of an injury to him. It became rather easy to blame him based on his performance, and while I do feel that at times, he could of backed off the pitch or not swung, it does make sense that his performance has been hampered by an injury to me now. He has always bled Dodger blue, and given it his all, wether it be his body flying into a wall or a fence, a slide or even a souvenir into the LF or RF seats. I do so apologize to all the Outsiders on here for acting inappropriately and criticizing him, without taking full measure of accounts and who places him in the lineup and who makes the call. After all, he is playing a game, and the boss is always right. In a way.

  23. JhallWally says:

    Well, listening to Vin relate what Mattingly had to say about the article and Ethiers remarks, it sounds like a slumping/hurting player may have said some things he shouldn’t have out of frustration. Ethier does have a history of saying things he should keep within the clubhouse. Regardless, if Ethier wants out of LA, I think he has probably got the ball rolling.

    • trublu4ever says:

      I honestly don’t trust anybody in managment…..I want to hear it right from Andre’s mouth.

      • JhallWally says:

        I’m sure we’ll hear something. I’ll be real surprised if Andre is not traded this off season. It would be in the best interests of all concerned at this juncture. Too much bad blood.

  24. Nellyjune says:

    Also, don’t you find it interesting that these articles and comments always start appearing when things are going good for the team (on the field). The announcement of the divorce, Matt being thrown under the bus, the speculation during spring training that Andre had doubts whether he would be a Dodger long-term, announcing of Frank filing bankruptcy, etc, etc, and now this.

    • JhallWally says:

      Not surprising from an organization that is this dysfunctional and unstable. Stability starts at the top. With greedy owner and incompetent GM, its not surprising that the franchise is imploding right before our eyes.

  25. Nellyjune says:

    I believe Mattingly, but if Andre is being told by the medical staff he is fine (because Ned thinks he’s lying), Andre is not going to go to Donnie and say, “I don’t want to play!” Isnt it Stan’s job to let Mattingly know when players aren’t 100% because I would guess most players would play hurt rather than risk becoming a backup player. Andre busted his butt too hard to get this position to tell Mattingly he doesn’t want to play. I have a son who has the same mentality Andre d

  26. Nellyjune says:

    ….Andre does, and it is what most professional athletes need to become successful.

  27. trublu4ever says:

    Now, they (ESPN) are reporting that Dre met with Mattingly and Colletti in a closed door meeting.

  28. Nellyjune says:

    I mean, the guy (Andre) works out with Dustin Pedroia for God’s sake!! Dustin had to be told to go home when he busted his ankle (remembering he was taking ground balls on his knees not to put weight on his So, much like Dustin, Andre is going to have to be told “You can’t play anymore until you are healed”

  29. Nellyjune says:

    Well, Andre is in the dugout, and he seems good.
    .
    Andre has never been good with interviews, but it’s no reason for Ned to tell TJ Andre is lying and questioning his integrity. That’s what has me upset.

  30. JhallWally says:

    Well, the bottom line is: Ned as the GM in when dealing with player issues should be the one making them better. Not throwing gasoline on the fire because of his own insecurities and ego.

  31. JhallWally says:

    Anyway, damn this Sellers kid has been impressive.

  32. trublu4ever says:

    Meanwhile…..love Tattoo!

  33. trublu4ever says:

    Woo-hoo….JAMES!

  34. trublu4ever says:

    Wow…Huntington Beach, California wins the LLWS!

  35. 32and53fan says:

    Ocean View Little League from Huntington Beach just won the Little League Championship over a team from Japan.

  36. trublu4ever says:

    LOL…Vinny is a gem!

  37. Nellyjune says:

    One last thought on this Andre topic (I think). Thinking way back to the spring training comments Andre made about not being sure he would be a Dodger long term. Thoughts like those don’t come out of nowhere from a player who was earmarked (along with Matt, Kersh and Billz) as the heart of this organization, and has always been involved in every aspect of the Dodgers and LA. So, I think there is some connection to what happened then with Ned and Andre and what is happening now with Ned and Andre. I guess only Andre and Ned know for sure. To us, it’s all speculation, and I’m guessing over the off-season, amongst the on-going “Frank Get the Hell Out of LA” court drama, Andre’s fate with the Dodgers will be figured out. Until then, it’s GO Dodgers!!; Keep up the empty stadium, and pray to God Frank is no longer owner in 2012.
    .
    I’m sitting here watching the gnat game! Yuck!!!

  38. JhallWally says:

    Damn!! Nice play by CarGo to rob Sellers.

  39. trublu4ever says:

    Well, one thing is for sure….Trent is NOT Andre!

  40. trublu4ever says:

    Shheeeit!

  41. trublu4ever says:

    WTF….Eugeno4ever with bases loaded!

  42. JhallWally says:

    Got lucky that wasn’t a DP.

  43. JhallWally says:

    Those 2 runs Hawkshit gave up are looking mighty big now. Dammit!!

  44. Nellyjune says:

    Watching the gnats game is like watching one of those creepy CSIs where the team has to investigate at a place where the people are all dressed like animals. They not only have Pandas now, they have giraffes to represent Brandon Belt, who they call Little Giraffe. They need to give him a baseball name…. Little Giraffe is NOT a baseball name. Bison is a baseball name, and you don’t see Dodger fans dressing like one.

  45. trublu4ever says:

    38,503 paid attendance.

  46. JhallWally says:

    Now this is the kind of grinding that I like. Let’s go Dodgers!!!!

  47. trublu4ever says:

    It’s rally time!

  48. JhallWally says:

    Rats!!! Carroll just ain’t worth a crap with RISP.

  49. Nellyjune says:

    Let’s Go Dodgers!!!!

  50. trublu4ever says:

    YAY…GNATS LOST!

  51. trublu4ever says:

    Oh well, made a good fight of it! We will get the Puds tomorrow with Kersh on the mound.

  52. JhallWally says:

    You know, there is something really screwed up with the scoring system when Eovaldi gets the loss today. Yes, he failed to go 5 innings and gave up 5 runs, but, Hawkshit gave up the runs that beat us. What a crock. I guess not going 5 innings as a starter is the cardinal sin.

  53. selltheteam says:

    The big mystery of the day was why Velez was inserted with the bases loaded.

  54. JhallWally says:

    I see in the Times where Ethier has back tracked on his comments. Andre’s whining act is getting tired. Frank and Ned suck, but, no one else is wheezing like Mr Soft-E!!!!

  55. grizzy says:

    More from Ethier and Mattingly in the Times.

  56. Nellyjune says:

    I am at the point now that this season has been so screwed up since day one that I’m done wondering what players are thinking or saying, much less anybody in the front office. Also, I have come to the conclusion there is not a player on this team that is guaranteed to stay due to the financial situation. Ned’s Trayvon move proved that point rather abruptly. So, all we can do is sit back and watch this incredibly filthy drama unfold throughout this season and into the next.

  57. So I see Dildon batted Velez with the bases loaded. Obviously Rivera and Blake were more valuable on the bench. Keep in mind that Dildo-n had previously batted Castro with the bases loaded earlier in the year, so he had set the precedent of PHing someone who couldn’t hope to get a hit. I think Donnie’s managing has cost this team at least 4-5 games in the standings. As I said once before, the road apple doesn’t fall far from the horse’s ass. He has accomplished one thing with his managing this year though – he’s made us forget about Little Donnie Two-Trips.

    What can you say about Ned that hasn’t been said already? The thing to keep in mind with Ned is that he’s a PR man. Ergo, HIS public image is first and foremost in his mind, and he’ll throw people under the bus as necessary. He’ll also bullshit his reasons for trades and acquisitions, and when they don’t work out, alter a little history about his expectations to soften criticism. Only times he’s self-effacing is when he believes things will blow over with a little sympathy and pity. Truly owning up to obvious mistakes is not in his nature. Its no wonder he works well with Frank.

    As far as Dre goes, if he truly wants off this team, then he’s going about it completely the wrong way. His shtick is wearing thin and at this point, mutual or otherwise, he would seem better suited for another team. If that’s the case, I’ve already resigned myself to Ned not getting anything in return. That’s just how it is.

    I’ve also resigned myself that this team , this franchise isn’t going to be worth shit until 2015, and that’s if the malignancy that’s Frank and Ned are gone sometime this winter. If not, for every year they stay, I’ll add two more years to that date.

  58. vl4eccjr says:

    Fucking Colletti must have a teflon coating around him!

  59. dodgereric says:

    So, who are the leading characters in this bad play?

    Stan Conte, trainer. Already on record as being the worst trainer in Dodger if not MLB history. No integrity.

    Don Mattingly, manager. Already on record as having no major league managerial experience, This reporter has never heard anyone ask him the question, but this reporter has no doubt that, were someone ask him of his opinion of the owner and/or the GM would either completely avoid the question or would answer, “Well, he’s been good to me so far.” No integrity.

    Ned Colletti, scumbag GM. Already on record as having publicly ripping his players and sitting on a .010 record of good free agent signings and trades. No integrity.

    F….Fr…..no, still cannot write it. The putrid Dodger owner. Already on record as having absolutely no integrity whatsoever in any category anyone on the planet could name.

    Andre Ethier, right fielder. Already on record as a good teammate, hard worker and first in his field of working with charity, but challenged with a temper that he sometimes loses a fight with. Certainly someone with whom dodgereric shares at least one attribute.

    Reaction #1: If someone in this episode deserves benefit of the doubt, it’s Ethier.

    Reaction #2: I still cannot forget Colletti’s “What am I supposed to be concerned about? That he has those numbers [since the All-Star break], that he’s hurt or contends he’s hurt?

    Reaction #3: I wouldn’t give a tinker’s damn for a player who constantly begs out of the lineup. I don’t think Ethier is one of them. I think he knows he should be held out of games. I think he knows that management and the trainers know he’s hurting. If an old man sitting at home watching on TV noticed his grimace, don’t you think that someone – the manager, a coach, a trainer, a teammate should have noticed it, especially since it happened 20′ from their dugout?

    Reaction #4, I still think that Colletti is still using his injuries to drop him numbers to a point where he thinks he will win the arbitration hearing in the spring.

    Agree or disagree as you like. That’s my opinion.

    Lost in the anger of those and other statements yesterday, I neglected to mention that yesterday’s Game 67 put our attendance over 3 million in 2010. Today’s game put the “attendance” over 2.5.

    Game 68 attendance (2010): 44,268
    Today’s attendance courtesy of trumom: 38,503
    Difference from 2010: -6,661
    Estimated no-shows: 9,626
    Estimated turnstile attendance: 28,877
    Greater than last year = 9 / Less than last year = 58
    13th straight game of negative attendance

    Games less than 30,000 this season – 9
    Games less than 30,000 in 2005 – 2010: none
    Last game was 9/14/2004 – 29,704

    Lowest attended game of the year: Game 8 – 27,439
    Largest single game drop: Game 18 (55,662 – 28,419 = 27,243)

    2010 attendance (68 games) – 3,046,600 (44,803 average)
    2011 attendance (68 games) – 2,509,935 (36,911 average) #10 in MLB
    Percentage attendance drop 2010/2011: -21.3816

    Drop of 536,665 total
    Average drop of 7892
    Extrapolated for 81 games – 639,263
    Projected 2011 final attendance – 2,989,776
    2010’s final attendance – 3,562,318 (#3 in MLB)

    Next game’s (69) attendance in 2010 – 37,080

    Crowds less than 30,000 in 2010: none. 2011: 9
    Crowds 30,000 – 39,999 in 2010: 13. 2011: 42
    Crowds 40,000 – 49,999 in 2010: 44. 2011: 12
    Crowds 50,000 – 55,999 in 2010: 7. 2011: 2
    Sellouts (56,000) in 2010: 4. 2011: 3

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