With the release of 42, I was determined to make this past weekend a Jackie Robinson theme, meant that anything that had to do with Jackie Robinson or the movie 42 would be documented. ( I’m such a baseball geek….LOL….) . To start things off, a buddy of mine had an extra ticket to a volleyball matchup between UCLA and their crosstown rival USC. Those of you who have read some of my past posts may know by now where my college allegiance lies. Now why I point this out is because, as I said, anything that had to do with Jackie Robinson would be documented. And since Jackie Robinson was a Bruin, this event goes. FYI, UCLA ended up sweeping this best of 5 matchup. To be honest with you i’m not much of a volleyball fan though I do watch occasionally….
On Sunday I made the trek over to Jackie Robinson Stadium for a Sunday afternoon college baseball game between the UCLA Bruins and the Loyola Marymount Lions. Admission was free for those who came dressed in any 42 or Jackie Robinson attire. ( Gotta love free baseball !!!! ) . Prior to the game, a mural dedicated to Jackie was unveiled next to the Jackie Robinson statue behind the 1st base concourse….
Review of 42 and Jackie Robinson Night…
OK, the review of 42. Being the hardcore baseball fan who knows many of the game’s historical moments, I can’t really say that this movie had a strong impact on me. That’s not to say that you should not see this. If anything, I know the baseball fan in you will go out and see this if you haven’t already. Word of advice to those hard-core baseball and Dodgers fans who may know too much, it would be best to bring someone who isn’t so much a hardcore baseball fan or maybe doesn’t know as much of the game’s historical facts. If anything, you may actually appreciate the movies plot that much more .
What I really liked about the movie was not so much Harrison Ford’s role as Branch Rickey or Chadwick Boseman’s role as Jackie Robinson, because as said earlier, being the baseball fan and Dodger fan I am, already know so much about the impact both Jackie and Branch on the game, but the way the supporting actors , particularly the players who we’re on the opposite sides of Jackie, made their roles against Jackie as authentically blatant as could be for the time period. Particularly that of Alan Tudyk, who made the role of Phillies manager Ben Chapman so believable that he would later admit as much that he was pained by it. Yes, the N word is used a lot in the movie especially by that of Alan Tudyk, in reference to what Jackie endured during the time of 1947.
Oh yeah, did I forget to mention this is also a baseball movie ? Given that fact, in the scenes where Jackie is in Ebbets Field and the other parks of the time, particularly The Polo Grounds and Forbes Field, being the baseball geek I am, of course I was going to be looking for both accuracies and inaccuracies. FYI, I wasn’t the only one doing this either. And in this day and age of CGI, i’m sure many of you did the same thing to. Especially you fellow Dodger fans out there who may have been looking for the Abe Stark ad in right field. Yup, it’s there. The Chesterfield Ad in Centerfield of the Polo Grounds ? Check. And of course, in the scenes at Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, I was looking for the famed Cathedral of Learning. In the end… Check. Speaking of, here’s a couple other sources where details we’re both accounted for or missed, some highlights from this Philly.com post, and another from a Pirate’s fan’s blog as well. In the blog you will want to read the comment’s below the post. Overall, 42 did a great job of documenting not so much Jackie and Branch’s contributions, but covering with as much accuracy the other baseball references as well. Both the staunch baseball fan, the casual fan, and the newbies would be really impressed with 42.
FROM THE YARD…
I didn’t really get to take any pre-game ceremony pictures . However, I did get this clip of another former UCLA great from behind before he would take part in the pre-game ceremonies….
The Dodgers would lose on this night 6-3 thanks to some missed scoring opportunities ( Haven’t we said that a lot so far this season…), but this day was all about Jackie Robinson. The man who opened opportunities not only in baseball, and not only for African-Americans, but other sports as well….