Much has been written and said about the man who on April 15th, 1947 broke the color barrier, especially on the anniversary of the date when the Brooklyn Dodgers decided it was time to end segregation in baseball. Without a doubt, it truly was the first step in what later became the Civil Rights movement. Many African-American players have voiced their gratitude; the player for my team who was named after Mr. Robinson had a great day, both at the plate and on the field. Quite poignant, yes.
But to me, a significant measure of Jackie Robinson’s influence and legacy became clear at the same Yankees-Angles game played in the Bronx on Thursday night. You see, I was unaware that young Halo outfielder Reggie Willits, a Caucasian player from Oklahoma, was actually named for Reggie Jackson. That, right there, says it all.