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Big time. Ever read his memoir, Let Me Finish? Terrific.
This essay is only 507 words and it is the best baseball-related essay/article I've read in a while.
I used to count how many times he'd use the word "effulgent" - never more than once an article, but almost certainly once a year.
I read this sentence over and over, and see no typo. Where is it?
... no matter what taunts or trash came at him from enemy players out of the stands.
It was something that happened during an insignificant weekday game between the Giants and the Dodgers back in the nineteen-fifties. Robinson, by then an established star, was playing third base that afternoon, and during the game something happened that drove him suddenly and totally mad. I was sitting close to him, just behind third, but I had no idea what brought on the outburst. It might have been a remark from the stands or from one of the dugouts; it was nothing that happened on the field. Without warning, Robinson began shouting imprecations, obscenities, curses. His voice was piercing, his face distorted with passion. The players on both teams looked at each other, uncomprehending. The Giants' third-base coach walked over to murmur a question, and Robinson directed his screams at him. The umpire at third did the same thing, and then turned away with a puzzled, embarrassed shrug. In time, the outburst stopped and the game went on. It had been nothing, a moment's aberration, but it seemed to suggest what can happen to a man who has been used, who has been made into a symbol and a public sacrifice. The moment became an event--something to remember along with the innumerable triumphs and the joys and the sense of pride and redress that Jackie Robinson brought to us all back then. After that moment, I knew that we asked him to do too much for us. None of it--probably not a day of it--was ever easy for him.
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