And we shouldn’t be surprised that there might be a bit of push-back from all the hoopla surrounding Jackie Robinson, since this is America and anything worth doing is worth overdoing.
I visited some sports card forums where the idea was broached that the occasion of honoring Robinson every year could be augmented by some genuine educational efforts on behalf of literally dozens of other pioneering black players. Like Robinson, many of these players faced similar adversity in their own careers, or in many instances, had no major league career at all because of the intractable color line that prevailed until 1947.
Almost everybody chiming in on the topic was careful to couch their words in a fashion that makes it clear there was no intent to diminish Robinson’s epic accomplishment, but merely an acknowledgment that countless others might be similarly feted.
I originally like the idea of Major League Baseball universally retiring No. 42 to honor him, but the recent idea of everybody wearing No. 42 may not have been the most inspired notion that ever worked its way out of the MLB Bat Cave in New York City.
Still, it’s hard to criticize it, since at its roots it seems like a great fund-raising device for a number of more-than-worthy causes, which often is justification enough for almost any idea, no matter how intrinsically silly.
As a side note, in the course of checking these forums, I ran across the amazing website you see pictured here (www.infinitecardset.blogspot.com/). As I’m sure will surprise no one, I love the artwork and elegant card-front (and back) design that designer and illustrator Gary Joseph Cieradkowski came up with for this unique card set.
It’s billed as “The Infinite Base Ball Card Set” and you can’t help but applaud the idea of this baby going on forever. Included on the checklist thus far are a number of the Negro league players that ought to be honored in conjunction with every year’s quite proper genuflection to Robinson.
I could have noted above that one of the reasons – sadly – that MLB and the media simply overload on Jackie a bit rather than tell us something about Oscar Charleston is probably little more than laziness. Everybody knows about Jackie Robinson; to laud Charleston, the media would be required to learn a little bit about him themselves before deigning to generously pass the information on to fans.
The talented Cieradkowski certainly does his part in that regard with his world-class website and these stunning cards.