By Rick Amato
From time to time here at PoliticsAndProfits we like to conduct interviews or cover stories that are outside the realm of politics, national security and the economy. Interviews and stories that can probably be best described as human interest or perhaps- at the risk of sounding schmaltzy – even heart warming. Today is one such story.
Earlier today I spoke with Fox News Chief National Correspondent Ed Henry who has just written a new book called ‘42 Faith: The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story’. Now if you’re like me the first thing that goes through your mind is ‘what do we possibly not know about Jackie Robinson and what can we learn that hasn’t already been written?”. Ed Henry’s book answers those questions quickly and dramatically.
For the first time we learn of the main role which faith played in guiding the life of Jackie Robinson. Interestingly, and previously well documented, Branch Rickey (the baseball executive who helped Robinson break the color barrier for you non-baseball fans out there) was also a man of great faith. In fact during his career he never played or worked a baseball game on Sundays.
But what was not widely known until now is how much Mr. Rickey grappled with the decision of whether or not to proceed forward with his idea to racially integrate baseball. Contrary to the pop culture narrative the decision for him was not an easy one. In fact it wasn’t until Rickey met and consulted with his minister that he chose to move forward with Jackie Robinson. Meanwhile, unknown to a lot people, Jackie Robinson as a youth was a gang member while growing up in Pasadena, California. He had an arrest record. It was his minister who urged the young Robinson to get his act together by focusing his time and energy on sports as a way of turning away from the destructive influence of gangs. In other words two men- Robinson and Rickey- from different generations, from different parts of America and of different racial backgrounds were brought together by two things in common: their love for baseball and their belief in faith.
You can hear my full interview with Ed Henry author of the book, 42 Faith: ‘The Rest of the Jackie Robinson Story’, by clicking below.