Jackie Robinson


Liam Carroll

I hope you got to catch some MLB action yesterday.  I think every player wearing number 42 on April 15th to celebrate Jackie Robinson breaking the colour barrier is one of the coolest things in baseball. 

Growing up, Jackie Robinson was an important name in my house.  Dad grew up a Brooklyn Dodger fan and idolised Robinson.  In 1997 the Dodgers wore a patch to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Robinson joining the club.  They gave that patch away with their yearbook and my dad wore it on his Crewkerne Cutters uniform. 

In reading the various articles about Robinson over the last few days I was reminded of a sport psychologist named Dr. Rob Gilbert.  When I lived in the US I used to ring his "Success Hotline" that offered tips and stories that presented sport psychology concepts in simple terms.  I was reminded of Dr. Gilbert because one of the first stories I heard was about Robinson's courage. 

I haven't been able to find the audio but below is the text.

"When we think of courageous athletes, no one demonstrated more courage than the late great Jackie Robinson. As the first African-American to play major league baseball, he was under constant threats and harassment both on and off the field.

One of the great stories of Jackie Robinson's courage happened one winter on a frozen pond, long after his playing days were over...

It was a snowy afternoon in 1959 when 9-year-old Sharon Robinson, her two brothers, and three friends begged her father, retired baseball legend Jackie Robinson, to allow them to go skating.

It was always his responsibility to test the ice on the lake to determine its safety. He took the job seriously, clearing the snow from his path with measured steps and tapping the ice with a broomstick. When he reached the deepest part of the lake, he gave one last tap with the broomstick and signalled the children that it was safe to skate.

It was a "normal dad" kind of thing to do, except for one thing: HE COULDN'T SWIM."


tagged under: baseball, coaching, mlb, jackie robinson

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Jude 20:05

42 is still a significant number in the Carroll household.  Not only is it Jackie Robinson’s number, it’s the answer to life, the universe and everything as well as being the year of your old man’s birth.  Thanks for the thoughts.

About Liam Carroll

Liam Carroll

Liam was a Regional Coach and then Development Coordinator for BaseballSoftballUK until May 2014. He returned to his hometown of London to work for BSUK in 2010 after stops in Somerset, Bristol, Cornwall, California and Nevada. Growing up playing in Britain, Liam made the move to America to study and play university baseball. After figuring out that his future would be brighter as a coach rather than player, he moved to the University of Nevada Las Vegas to finish his degree and coach college baseball. Since then he’s coached youth and adult teams on both sides of the atlantic and with the Great Britain Baseball National Teams.

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