The man’s name was Moses Harris, although Cliff Floyd and his teammates – whether they played Little League baseball, pee football or youth basketball – correctly called him Mr. Harris.
And each time Mr. Harris laid his charges from South Holland (Illinois) to Chicago to play Jackie Robinson Park, the instructions were clear:
“Her favorite thing to say was,” We better represent today, “said Floyd to the Post Tuesday.
On Wednesday, we will all be invited to represent Jackie, who crossed the modern color barrier of baseball on April 15, 1947, at Ebbets Field. In the absence of games to highlight the annual tradition of all players playing the number 42 retired from Robinson the same day, Major League Baseball will use the Coronavirus Stoppage to honor it in other ways, including understood a multitude of Programming linked to Jackie, on the MLB and MLB.com networks, the launch of a “Jackie Robinson Day Virtual Learning Hub” by the eponymous Hall of Famer foundation and a series of digital round tables led by the team.
Floyd, an MLB Network analyst who spent four seasons (2003-2006) with the Mets and another 13 years with six other clubs, participated in such a discussion on Monday led by his (current) home town Marlins which will air on Wednesday on the team’s YouTube. channel. After so much time in quarantine at home, he recognized that it was good to talk on Zoom about a fleshy subject like Jackie. He hopes the feeling will carry this day.
“Unfortunately, this year is different from the others,” said Floyd. “But it can be powerful to sit at home and somehow have time to pay attention to the details [Robinson] for us. “
Despite pressing requests from Mr. Harris, Floyd admitted that he did not fully appreciate Robinson’s contributions before playing professionally.
“If you really think about it, carry on with what we saw in the movie [“42”] and what we have heard from his life, being the first to practice the sport, was in itself a pressure, “said Floyd. “I just felt like it was impossible to cross a stretch of 0 to 10, 0 to 20. I would start removing the hair from my bald head.
“If Jackie went from 0 to 20, it was [other people saying], ‘Get out of here! Go and kick! »… In no case could I imagine myself living this. Knowing myself, I couldn’t have lasted a week. “
Active African American players like Tim Anderson, Dee Gordon and Lewis Brinson have also participated in digital roundtables, and Floyd thinks that shining a spotlight on Jackie’s heroism can simultaneously show baseball at its best as he s strives to play more diverse pool.
“Don’t let what you have heard or anything derail you from being good at a sport because you had not heard that it was the scale of another sport. I think it ‘was what Jackie stood for, “said Floyd.” He was so big and so powerful. Even though it didn’t seem like everyday, he [struggle], everyday.
“When you talk about him leading the way, that’s how you can talk about it and it’s not a cliché. You think about what he endured every day. If you think about these things, he should be easy for you to go there and not worry about anything. ”
Mr. Harris, an African American, has died, said Floyd. Therefore, the responsibility rests with the generation to ensure that everyone represents Jackie. Especially the day, and especially with so many people who are fighting to overcome this pandemic and its many tentacles.