Mike Royko on Jackie Robinson | Bleader

Mike Royko on Jackie Robinson

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I had to see Jackie Robinson, the man who was going to somehow wreck everything. So the next day, another kid and I started walking to the ballpark early.

We always walked to save the streetcar fare. It was five or six miles, but I felt about baseball the way Abe Lincoln felt about education.

[snip]

He swung at the first pitch and they erupted as if he had knocked it over the wall. But it was only a high foul that dropped into the box seats. I remember thinking it was strange that a foul could make that many people happy.

—Mike Royko, "Jackie's Debut a Unique Day," 10/25/72

Roger Ebert says that sports isn't art, and while I don't disagree with him, sometimes its simplicity—and lack of inherent meaning—abstracts the world around us into something comprehensible* in the way that art sometimes does, or intends to (h/t @nocoastoffense, @ebertchicago).

* "Art alone can turn those thoughts of disgust at the horror or absurdity of existence into imaginary constructs which permit living to continue."

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