The Mets flew back to South Florida last night from Memphis and will work out this afternoon at Dolphin Stadium, or whatever they are calling it this year.
They’ll finally finish the roster, which should spur some conversation later.
Thanks to the Civil Rights web site and videos, yesterday I learned a lot about both Willie and Omar from the Civil Rights Game activities, press conferences and round table forums. When you see Hank Aaron, MLK III and Sharon Robinson sharing a stage with them and Ozzie Guillan and Ken Miller, you take notice and you listen.
The history of baseball is also the history of our country and how this nation of immigrants interacts with each other. I remember how moved I was at the Norwegians in New York exhibit at Ellis Island in 2001 reading the story of my Grandfather Kris Pedersen who left seven siblings and his parents in Norway to come to America with three teen aged brothers at the turn of the last century armed only with their carpentry tools.
Both Willie and Omar have made great strides in their chosen profession, and now that they are in management positions and in on the decision making process they are using their backgrounds to assist others to succeed – it is noble work. Both seemed honored to be there.
All afternoon yesterday I listened to Sharon Robinson tell how difficult it was for her Dad – a fine athlete in several sports – maintain his composure on the field. To MLK III talk about how his Dad was concerned for Negro families trying to raise their children in the Deep South. And to Henry Aaron who in his quiet way, just did his job.
However it also reminded me how far we’ve come – many made note of Barack Obama’s acceptance as a Presidential candidate – (one of his Harvard Law Professors was the Moderator) and the proliferation of athletes of mixed backgrouds exceeding in many different sports – i.e. Tiger Woods, Derek Jeter, Joachim Noah etc. with skills honed by hard work and guidance from their parents.
Land of the Free, and Home of the Brave, indeed.
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