Results tagged ‘ Jackie Robinson ’

Back under the catwalks in St. Pete

Happy Jackie Robinson Day to everyone out there, which – as we understand it – is also National File Your Taxes Day. I wouldn’t know. For the third consecutive year, I haven’t had time to do them, so I’m working off an extension. Hopefully most of you out there found the time to settle up with Uncle Sam.

This evening brings us the final game of this eight-game road trip, as Andy Pettitte goes to the mound against Edwin Jackson here at Tropicana Field. Last night was the Robinson Cano show in the eighth inning, as he ripped a pinch-hit homer into the right-field seats off Al Reyes and maybe – just maybe – woke up from his 13-game slumber.

It’s sunny but cool here in Tampa, where there was a brisk wind whipping everyone on the St. Petersburg Pier this afternoon. Seemed like the pelicans had more than fish to contend with down in the choppy waters. I watched a cap fly off of some guy’s head and down into the drink, and all I could think in my head was this sound. Terrible, I know.

I think everyone’s looking forward to getting back to New York on Wednesday, even if it is for only about 48 hours. First, let’s see if the Yankees can even out this road trip. If you finish a trip to Kansas City, Boston and Tampa Bay at 4-4, playing .500 away from home has to be considered passable.

Roaming about town

Museums_at_18th_&_Vine_003_AA_LR.jpgI got out of the hotel early this morning and started my way to the ballpark at 10:30 a.m., but Kauffman Stadium would have to wait. The historic 18th and Vine neighborhood of Kansas City is being redeveloped as the homes of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the American Jazz Museum.

Today was a really great day to go because, for some reason, it felt like I had the run of both places and all of the exhibits. The admission price? A remarkable $8.00 for both museums.It was well worth every penny and I would highly recommend both. I learned a little about music history and, to see how the Negro Leagues formed and enjoyed their heyday prior to Jackie Robinson’s 1947 debut was stirring. It was equally enjoyable to see the league disband as they lost their quality starts to the Major Leagues in the late 1940s — historians feel that the last quality year of the Negro Leagues was ’48.

It’s interesting to note that, as we focus on Robinson’s April 15, 1947 debut, he was one of five African American players to play in the big leagues in ’47 alone. I would also note that you don’t hear enough about Larry Doby, who cracked the American League color line with the Indians just later that summer. The league served its intended purpose. As one sign said in the gift shop, the Negro Leagues were “a revolution disguised as guys playing baseball.”

I capped the afternoon off with another visit to the original Arthur Bryant’s barbecue. It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but this is a real cafeteria style place and it’s a classic. You get your meals slapped on Wonder bread and wrapped in butcher paper. Throw in some fries and a smattering of pickles and it’s entirely too much food for any human being to consume. There’s a long-running debate on the best Kansas City BBQ, but for me, Arthur Bryant’s just took the crown.

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